I don't know what drew me to watch it -- could be my desire to see every horror movie ever made; could be my need to be culturally aware about every damn movie-related thing; could be that addiction to shite I need to see someone about. Whatever the case, there was no way I wasn't watching this. And even though it had no chance of living up to its Chinese predecessor, it wasn't as bad as some American horror remakes, like The Ring. It was still lame.
I expected it to be lamer, especially with Gothika "writer" Sebastian Gutierrez responsible for the screenplay. Gutierrez also wrote Snakes on a Plane which was utter trash as well. He tries here to stick to the original, and while there are some major plot disconnections for me, he's not the reason this doesn't work. That issues hangs on Moreau and Palud who clearly have little idea how to scare an audience. I don't get why guys like these who have been given the chance to direct a scary movie don't go out and research scary movies. They needn't go that far even -- just hire out the original Eye and DO EXACTLY WHAT THEY DID. Instead, those ultra-creepy scene from the original are watered way down with stupid CGI ghosts effects and absolutely zero tension.
If you've seen the original -- remember the dead guy in the elevator? Why was that so frightening in the original, but borderline funny here? Do the Chinese just have a better sense of overall atmosphere when it comes to films like this? Remember the school scene with the calligraphy? "Get out of my chair!" Oh my god! That scene is probably the scariest I've ever seen on film. Why can't the remake replicate that? Does putting Jessica Alba (or any well-known, mainstream actress) just negate the scary? Does a US setting add a been-there-seen-that quality to such flicks?
Let's explore... Calligraphy chair, as well as the girl under the sink in Tale of Two Sisters, Sadako coming out of the TV in Ringu, the little boy in the banister in Ju-on -- these are all officially my most memorable movie moments for sheer freak-out factor. Like, not just the creeps or the chills or a slight jump, but heart-pounding, vomit-inducing, CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE kinda stuff. Coincidence that they're all from Asian horror flicks? I really don't think so.
The Asians just do it better. It's the only conclusion I can come to. It's like Italians and red wine. They just do it better. They can't help it. Although, the Asian horror flick fest of awesome has dried up over the past few years. Are there new Pangs out there? Have I just not found them?