In 2006 the slasher film SEE NO EVIL produced by WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) and distributed by Lionsgate hit screens in the U.S. On an estimated budget of $8mil, the film opened to a meager $4.5mil and went onto to earn a worldwide gross of around $18.5mil. Not exactly a Cinderella story, but not a failure either. Obviously WWE thought that was good enough to warrant a follow up, SEE NO EVIL 2, eight years later. The original film was nothing special as far as slasher films go. In it a killer, Jacob Goodnight (Glenn “Kane” Jacobs), who is abused as a young kid by an overly religious zealot of a mother (Nancy Bell), decides he is God’s little helper to rid the world of sinners. He proceeds to take his fury out on a group of delinquents sentenced to cleaning up an old building. Overall the movie was pretty forgettable. The cast is unimpressive, the director was unimpressive, and the writing offered the standard fare of slasher cliches. But it had two elements going for it. Firstly; it had good energy. It didn’t take itself too seriously and the story moved along at a nice pace. Secondly, it had great gore!! Kane killed the twenty-somethings in creative, bloody ways and this was SEE NO EVIL’s only saving grave. Since the producers had eight years to think about it, I’m sure SEE NO EVIL 2 corrected all the sins of its predecessor to deliver a better product. Right?
I’d like to say that happened, I really would. Unfortunately SEE NO EVIL 2 is more stale and formulaic than the original and it lacks the energy and gore that made the original one moderately fun. So what the hell happened?
SEE NO EVIL 2 begins like many horror sequels of yesteryear … with the “dead” body of the killer being delivered to the morgue. Working the nightshift is Seth (Kaj-Erik Eriksen) and Amy (Danielle Harris). Amy is the sweet girl who is always cheery, always helpful, and not a big partier. In other words, she’s the “Final Girl.” This night also happens to be Amy’s birthday but when dead bodies start pouring into the morgue, Amy decides to stay late and help out Seth. The dead bodies are the victims of the first SEE NO EVIL and I liked how this one picks up right where the second one left off. But wow the writing is lazy!! Amy’s friends weren’t happy that she couldn’t go to her own party so they brought the party to her. That’s right, they’re partying in the same morgue where the “corpse” of serial killer Jacob Goodnight is resting. Holden (Michael Eklund), the nighttime morgue supervisor, okay’s the party. Which again is in the morgue. The city morgue. uh, okay. What is this, 1985?
Amy’s friends are more dull than listening to thirty minutes of Jerry Seinfeld’s stand-up routine. There’s Amy’s older brother Will (Greyston Holt), Amy’s best friend Tamara (Katharine Isabelle), Tamara’s boyfriend Carter (Lee Majdoub), and the vapid blonde Kayla (Chelon Simmons), who has a crush on Will and seems to only be in the cast to fill the role of the “dumb blonde.” These supporting cast members are, simply put, awful. Their acting is wooden and their dialogue is laughable and cringe0-inducing. Now I know what you’re going to say: “But surely Katharine Isabelle is the standout actor among them all.” You couldn’t be more wrong!! The Soska Sisters directed the 2012 film AMERICAN MARY, which made my “worst of” list of that year, which starred Katharine Isabelle. In that review I noted that Isabelle was completely out of her league and was unable to carry that film as it’s lead. So I was happy to see that Isabelle took a supporting role in SEE NO EVIL 2. Except her performance here is one of the worst performances I’ve seen this year. She is truly awful and brings the entire film to a grinding halt whenever she appears on screen. It was one of those performances where as the viewer you actually get embarrassed for her. Yikes!! In her defense, Isabelle didn’t have much to work with as far as her character went. “Tamara” is a horribly conceived and fleshed out character. Tamara loves death and dead bodies and when she finds out that Jacob Goodnight’s body is in the morgue she drags her boyfriend to check it out. First she gets half naked, straddles Jacob’s dead body, and then kisses him. Then she gets horny so she and Carter have sex next to it which disturbs old Jacob and proceeds to wake him up. That is pretty much the extent of Tamara’s character arc!! It’ll be no surprise that she’s one of the first victims of Jacob and she has an onscreen death scene that makes William Shatner look like Sir Laurence Olivier!!
After Jacob wakes up, the writer really kicks it into “standard slasher fare” gear. Jacob chases them around the morgue killing them one by one. In the first film, Jacob was sans a mask, but writers Nathan Brookes and Bobby Lee Darby wanted to make sure they hit every slasher cliche and they have Jacob wear a mask … which he proceeds to remove for no reason!! The gore is largely done off screen so we don’t even get that element. There’s a couple decent kills but the majority of them are pretty boring and uncreative. I think the writers originally wanted SEE NO EVIL 2 to be set in the woods and there must have been a last minute change. Why? How else can you explain why the hallways of the city morgue are so dark and foggy?? And you’re going to tell me that out of this group of twenty-somethings, not one of them has a cell phone? The script is full of noticeable holes due to lazy writing. And speaking of “lazy,” even Danielle Harris looks extremely bored as she goes through the motions of being chased around by yet another masked killer.
But perhaps most disappointing of all is the directing. There’s absolutely no energy in this film. The Soska Sisters exploded onto the scene back in 2009 with the indie micro-budget film, DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK. That film was funny, bloody, action-packed, and energetic. They followed that up with the horrible AMERICAN MARY, a completely forgettable entry in the horror anthology, THE ABCs OF DEATH 2 (“T is for Torture Porn”), and now SEE NO EVIL 2. What they hell are these sisters doing to their career? They’re either making terrible career choices or else DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK was a fluke. There’s nothing notable as far as the directing goes. Any schmuck could’ve directed this film; it’s so generic!! As the opening credits rolled and the “Directed by” the Soska’s filled the screen, the twins made a cameo as two dead bodies on slabs in the morgue. Unfortunately that’s exactly how they directed SEE NO EVIL 2. It’s lifeless and boring. Skip this one!!
Directors: the Soska Sisters
Plot: 1 out of 5 stars
Gore: 4.5 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer