Review: SEE NO EVIL 2

I’ll be the first person to say that 2006’s SEE NO EVIL didn’t really warrant a sequel. It has its core fanbase, but for the most part, its place in the $5 Bluray bin says a lot about my feelings for the WWE slasher film, so when AMERICAN MARY directors Jen and Sylvia Soska were tapped to directed a sequel to that film, a good eight years later, I’d like to think that a good amount of people were left scratching their horror-loving heads. When casting was announced and stars Danielle Harris (HALLOWEEN 4/5, the HATCHET series), Katherine Isabelle (AMERICAN MARY, GINGER SNAPS) and THE DIVIDE/THE CALL star Michael Eklund were thrown out there, it added an even greated level of confusion to the mix, due to the first film featuring a cast of relatively unknown actors. Things just didn’t seem in favor of the talented twin directors, taking on a sequel to a pretty bad movie. Well, initially skeptical or not, one thing’s for certain: boy was I wrong.

Beginning the second the first film ended, SEE NO EVIL 2 almost immediately lets viewers know that this is, for better or worse, going to be a different ride. When the body of WWE star Kane’s Jacob Goodnight character is taken to a local morgue, the party’s already well underway, with a coroner played by Danielle Harris celebrates her birthday party with co-workers and her friends. Filled with Isabelle as the more sexually charged and more party-girl like best friend to Harris’s Amy character, as well as a few others, the gang decides to throw Amy her birthday party at work, as the load of bodies coming in from the first film’s aftermath is making sure she’s working overtime. Also part of the party crew, is Kaj-Erik Erikesen (TV’s The 4400) as Amy’s co-worker who secretly has feelings for her, THE DIVIDE/THE CALL‘s Michael Eklund as the wheelchair-bound Holden, and a few others potential Goodnight victims as well. Sure, throwing a birthday party in a morgue on the night of a massive murdering spree might not seem like the best of ideas, but is it really ever a good idea?

Since this IS a sequel to a slasher film, and it’s no surprise that Goodnight rises from the very finite death he suffered at the end of the first film, things eventually turn for the worse, as the gang is stalked and picked off one by one, by the now clear-masked killer. On the surface, SEE NO EVIL 2 could very well be lumped into the same exact type of film that the first movie fell into, but it’s different in a large number of ways. While it might seem that it’s WWE’s second attempt to start a slasher icon, SEE NO EVIL 2 does the interesting thing of never feeling like one of those films that it’s inevitably going to be compared to. Some will argue that the film’s kills aren’t memorable enough, or that the first film had an advantage of having very memorable kills, highlighted by a constant action of its characters getting their eyes ripped out, but for the most part, SEE NO EVIL 2 isn’t a ‘kills’ kind of slasher film. It HAS them, but it’s more or a straight forward, character-driven horror film that just happens to fall into the slasher subgenre. You care about the majority of the characters, and when they die, it’s tragic, not the seat-jumping, yell out loud at how awesome the kills are type of way that’s expected. The confinement of the hospital is somewhat reminiscent of HALLOWEEN II, and some have called the film dull for having such a confined area, but it’s just not the case, as it adds a level of dread and claustrophobia that helps reel you into the onslaught of carnage playing out in front of you.

The change in tone and the success of the film lies in its ability to be more than the film it follows, largely due to the directorial team of Jen and Sylvia Soska. The twin sisters make it very clear that they’re more concerned with making a good movie, as opposed to just putting out a serviceable sequel. Hiring the directorial duo to helm the film is the smartest thing that WWE could have done, as what could have very easily been another forgettable film, ends up being a solid, well-executed genre entry, full of emotional range that is completely unexpected from a film like this. When certain characters die, you feel bad, and the film has a decent supply of gut-punch moments that you simply won’t see coming.

If SEE NO EVIL left somewhat of a sour taste in a lot of audience members’ mouths, SEE NO EVIL 2 will no doubt revitalize the excitement that fans of Kane, WWE horror films, the Soskas, and horror in general have been looking forward to catching again. I might not have been wanting a sequel to the first film, but I sure as hell hope that there’s one to this entertaining slasher ride.


One Response to “Review: SEE NO EVIL 2”
  1. Sam I. Am says:

    I remember Stephen King saying a long time ago that Filmmakers shouldn’t remake good pictures. They should remake bad ones to make them better!

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