See No Evil (2006)

See No Evil (2006)

Eight Teens, One Weekend, One Serial Killer.

A group of delinquents are sent to clean up the abandoned Blackwell Hotel in order to have their sentences reduced. Little do they know that reclusive psychopath Jacob Goodnight has been hiding away in the hotel and isn’t happy when  the guests start snooping around.

 

Wrestling giants World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE to the mainstream) bring us it’s first major foray into motion pictures with this watchable if completely derivative and unoriginal slasher flick which is more a throwback to the body count films of the 80s than a true out-and-out horror flick. As a wrestling fan myself, I’ve been watching Kane compete for years and the dude is great to watch in the ring. He’s got the look of a monster, with his 6′ 8″ frame, completely shaven head (not even eyebrows) and facial expressions like no other. He is also a very capable performer in the ring for a man of his size and has a great character, switching with ease between portraying a face (the good guy) or a heel (the baddie). If anyone from the wrestling world was going to take the plunge into horror films then the only suitable candidate was Kane. And the only role he was going to be suitable for was that of a hulking serial killer along the lines of Jason Vorhees and Leatherface.

Like any great body count film, the sole focus of See No Evil is on that of the killer and Kane (or Glenn Jacobs as his real name states) revels in his role here. He’s a dab hand with a hook and chain and he’s got the physical presence of a bull in a fine china shop. Despite the clear attempts to create a new slasher franchise here, I can’t really see Kane breaking out into future films but as an unstoppable one-off monster, he’s definitely a presence to be noted.

The film itself is standard slasher nonsense. There’s a bunch of cut-out teenagers who visit somewhere remote and are picked off one-at-a-time by the killer. You can substitute any number of generic locations into a slasher film as it all boils down to the same set pieces including the inevitable one-on-one with the heroine. Here the characters aren’t likeable at all which makes you root for the killer even more. Usually there’s one or two you want to see survive, possibly the joker of the bunch or the nerdy one or maybe the shy, honest girl. Well there’s no one like that in here – they’re all assholes and criminals. They’re so badly and thinly written that I’d rather have seen Kane just wade through a shopping complex with his hook and kill a few random shoppers.

To say this lot are inmates at a detention centre – it’s like a casting call for Dawson’s Creek! The blonde chick is excruciatingly hot for a skank who has been busted for shoplifting (although given the state of the prison system in the UK, I bet with the 5 star treatment they all get inside they’ll come out looking like Hollywood movie stars). If all chicks looked like this in US detention centres, then I’ll be on the first flight over with a bag of dope in my suitcase so that I can be busted and spend the week getting to know my fellow inmates. Far from being inmates, this cast have perfect hair, sparkly white teeth and seem to have spent a long time getting a tan. Cushy prison life or bad casting?

See No Evil loses marks on the writing and acting as mentioned but it does pick up plenty of points with the setting and the death scenes. The hotel is full of hidden corridors, double-sided mirrors, creaking freight elevators, crumbling walls and rusty metal – a classic location to throw in a psycho who likes to hide and watch people from a distance. The deaths are pretty good as I said earlier, Kane is a dab hand with a hook and chain and he uses these weapons a lot during the film. His first gargantuan appearance in the hotel where he hooks and chains a poor chick before dragging her kicking and screaming into the elevator is great.

The film isn’t as gory as I was hoping for (and as the rating would suggest) but there are plenty of eyes being gouged out and other unpleasant moments to satisfy gore hounds. I just wish they’d made the most of getting the highest rating they could and filled the screen with plenty more blood. I suppose they realised that a lot of WWE fans would be flocking to see this, especially the younger audience, so why bother giving it the 18/R certificate in the first place?

 

In a genre where remakes run amok and films just copy themselves one after another, See No Evil would have just been washed up with the rest of the straight-to-DVD crap if it hadn’t been for the WWE connections. It’s so generic and forgettable that it’s only the presence of the big, bald guy that makes it worth watching. But how many slasher films of the 80s could we have said that about? Did anyone really watch the Friday the 13th movies because they wanted more than what they offered: a big, bulky psycho who has a penchant for hacking up teenagers? No, and that’s the same crowd who will enjoy See No Evil for what it is.

 

 ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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