THE EYE is 2008's first remake

So here we are with 2008 looming and one of the first star-powered vehicles of the year will be Jessica Alba's rehash of THE EYE, arguably the scariest - and most intriguing - of the Asian fantasy ghost stories that hit cinemas and DVDs following the explosion of RINGU back in the late 90s. After THE EYE bows out at cinemas will be a rehash of another Thailand-produced hit - this time SHUTTER, a mediocre ghost-on-the-loose offering.

Some fans have been decrying the idea of a new, English language version of THE EYE - wondering what Alba and producer Tom Cruise can possibly bring to the genre. With the directors of THEM behind the helm, the answer is - "possibly quite a lot."

A lot of people bemoan remakes which is hard to understand. After all, many films are nothing more than attempts to adapt what has come before to a new environment - witness John Carpenter's excellent Assault on Precinct 13, which took the John Wayne classic Rio Bravo and spun it into modern New York. Likewise, Days of Thunder was Top Gun with racing cars, Dirty Harry got remade into four sequels and Gladiator attempted to outdo Spartacus. So when a remake of a film that is well loved comes along perhaps there's something to be said about giving it a chance.

As a result, when THE EYE does roll up this writer will be there in the queue to see it. Seeing a new twist of familiar material certainly feels more appealing - after a 2007 that saw TRANSFORMERS and SPIDER MAN 3 hit big at the box office - than most of what the local mutiplex is serving up.

Calum Waddell

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