DVD REVIEW: SEE NO EVIL 2 / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: THE SOSKA SISTERS / SCREENPLAY: NATHAN BROOKES, BOBBY LEE DARBY / STARRING: GLENN “KANE” JACOBS, DANIELLE HARRIS, KATHERINE ISABELLE, MICHAEL EKLUND / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 20TH
When it comes to Slasher flicks, there has to be a great deal of give when reviewing them. Anybody could tear the Friday the 13th series apart on the grounds of acting or plotting, but when the innovative slayings and jump scares set in, they do their job in adding to the gruesome, unpretentious fun and, to be honest, that particular franchise was a lot better than others (aka Prom Night or the uneven Halloween sequels). So to that end, here is See No Evil 2, the follow-up to WWE Studios’ 2006 horror film starring wrestler Glen Jacobs (better known in and out of a mask to wrestling fans as Kane) as sharp-fingernailed psychopath Jacob Goodnight (think Jason’s mummy issues and Michael’s psychosis).
The first See No Evil film drew terrible reviews, but there is no doubting it was not the worst to emerge from WWE Studios (after the patriotic machismo of those naff The Marine films or abysmal family comedies like The Chaperone). In fact it was a fairly gnarly slasher, even if it was very predictable and unambitious. So to that end, and a sizable 8 years later, we have See No Evil 2. The film is set shortly after the first film and sees the murders of Jacob Goodnight hit mainstream news as his lifeless body is delivered to the city morgue. At said morgue, a surprise birthday party is being thrown for worker Amy (Danielle Harris) but everything takes a turn for the worse when Goodnight wakes up and hunts down the group.
If we are being honest, this is actually a watchable old school entry in the slasher genre and not quite the insult many may expect from a ‘wrestler movie.’ However, where See No Evil 2 disappoints is in the fact that it has some noticeable wasted potential. The Soska sisters made their emphatic debut with Dead Hooker in a Trunk and then the intriguingly dysmorphic body Horror American Mary, and it is a shame some of those films guts have not carried over here. While there are slayings aplenty, this sequel is still predictable to a tee and at times a bog standard genre film, and there is always a feeling that everyone could have made more out of this. The deaths are gory but not particularly inventive, and the film only really kicks into gear come a genuinely refreshing (and rather genre-defying) climax. But the film has slowed down a lot before that point arrives.
Jacobs is certainly no Voorhees, Myers or Freddy but cuts an imposing 7-foot figure and predictably handles the physical scenes with brutal efficiency (wisely leaving much of the verbal acting to his co-stars). The performances are a mixed bag thanks to some creaky lines of scripting and the odd weirdly morbid sexual vibes. Halloween series actress Danielle Harris and American Mary’s Katherine Isabelle carry much of the film’s better moments of acting and keep things moving along at times, Then again, once you see the killer pick up a (mostly translucent) mask for no reason and a bafflingly necromantic vibe, it is clear this is not a film that is concerned too much with logic.
In short, See No Evil 2 is just another slasher that delivers some old school jolts and a genuinely fun closing quarter but in all remains indistinguishable from the rest of the genre. It is not so much an abject failure - indeed expectations were not high - but considering some of the people involved (especially the talented directors) it would have been nice to see more ingenuity and wit on display behind the stalk ‘n’ slash delivery. The film takes a clear (and successfully produced) visual influence from Rick Rosenthal’s Halloween 2 but, despite any admirable attempts at adding psychology to this movie maniac, it is clear that this is a very familiar sequel. See No Evil 2, like its predecessor, is watchable but forgettable for slasher fans that have been brought up on many films that have done all (or at least a lot) of this before.
Special Features: 3 Featurettes - Twisted Twins / Autopsy: Dissecting the Kills / Kane’s Goodnight: An Icon Reborn.
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