“See No Evil” is a movie designed essentially to showcase WWE wrestler Kane. Proof of this comes about thirty seconds in, when “produced by WWE films” appears on screen. Oddly enough, “See No Evil” was also produced by Lionsgate, a company that has been fairly consistent in pushing some of the best American horrors to have come down the pipe in recent years. It’s hard to believe that the same company who produced “Saw” and “The Devil’s Rejects” would have anything to do with something as dull and generic as “See No Evil”.
The skeletal plot sees a bunch of twentysomething prison inmates take part in some forced community service cleaning up an abandoned hotel for re-opening. Unfortunately, these youngsters, along with their chaperoning police wardens are set upon by Jacob Goodnight (the aforementioned Kane), a 6’10” Geinesque serial killer with a penchant for ripping the eyes out of his still-conscious victims. Kane is, however, reluctant to maim and slaughter attractive young ladies with religious tattoos, and is instead content with keeping them in a cage and masturbating in front of them. And when one of the inmates (who just so happens to be an attractive young lady with religious tattoos) is kidnapped, the gang must work together to figure out what is happening as the bodies start to pile up.
“See No Evil” suffers from a crippling lack of originality. The audience is introduced to the slasher movie stock characters in a manner that renders each one of them completely recognisable to anyone whose ever seen a slasher flick before. There are two token ethnics (one black, one Latino), a nerd, a tattooed, self-righteous lesbian, and 4 other characters who were only designed to have sex with each other, get high, then have their eyeballs torn out by Goodnight. One expects to see a certain degree of archetype in a slasher movie, but it’s obvious the filmmakers weren’t even trying here.
On top of that, no one in “See No Evil” can act, nevermind being able to convey fear convincingly. The only saving grace here is Kane, who does a fairly decent job as an emotionally skewed serial killer. Mind you, what Kane does barely qualifies as acting; it’s more just dragging the actors around by the hair and slamming them haphazardly into walls and doorways in a manner which only seems half-intentional.
“See No Evil’s” lack of originality is also present in its style. Before making the jump to movies, director Gregory Dark made his living directing music videos and soft porn. Following the trend of the “Saw” movies, Dark seems to think that the more gore, jump-cuts and fancy camera techniques you add, the better your film will be. But all the snorricam and strobe lighting in the world won’t make up for bad acting, terrible (and probably entirely improvised) dialog, and a plot so predictable that anyone could decipher the end by the time the first flashback comes around.
Perhaps I’m being too harsh on “See No Evil”. To its credit, it does have a couple of cool death scenes. Some major eyeball trauma and a rather nasty form of torture involving a mobile phone are just some of the treats for all you gore fans. Unfortunately all of this is for nothing when the rest of the movie is clearly a by-the-numbers moneymaking operation for the WWE.
There is no reason for anyone to spend 84 minutes of their time on “See No Evil”. Want to see gore for the sake of gore? Watch the Japanese “Guinea Pig” or Thai “Art of the Devil” films. Want to see comically exaggerated death scenes? Watch “Saw 2”. Want to see a bunch of promiscuous kids get slaughtered? Watch “Friday the 13th”. Want to see Kane in action? Watch WWE Wrestling. “See No Evil” only provides cheap thrills to those with time to kill and fans of WWE who wants to see it only for Kane. And, having seen it, Kane is the only person who actually brings anything halfway decent to the table.
Gregory Dark (director) / Dan Madigan (screenplay)
CAST: Glen Jacobs …. Jacob Goodnight (as Kane)
Christina Vidal …. Christine
Luke Pegler …. Michael
Samantha Noble …. Kira
Michael J. Pagan …. Tyson
Rachael Taylor …. Zoe
Steven Vidler …. Frank Williams
Penny McNamee …. Melissa