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See No Evil 2 (2014)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Movie Connections:
See No Evil
> See No Evil (2006)
> See No Evil 2 (2014)
Genres:
Horror, Sadistic Horror, Slasher Film
Directors:
Jen Soska Jen Soska
Sylvia Soska Sylvia Soska
Starring:
Glenn Jacobs Glenn Jacobs
Danielle Harris Danielle Harris
Katharine Isabelle Katharine Isabelle
Chelan Simmons Chelan Simmons
Kaj-Erik Eriksen Kaj-Erik Eriksen

4.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: April 01, 2015
I'll tell you, I was looking forward to See No Evil 2. While most people hated the first one, I thought it was a respectable entry in the slasher genre. When the sequel was announced nine years after the fact, I had a feeling it was going to be pretty lackluster, but I couldn't help but have high hopes.

This sequel takes place the very same night as Jacob's murderous spree in the Blackwell Hotel. At a local city morgue, Amy has just wrapped up her shift and was walking out the door to celebrate her birthday with some friends when they get the call that they'll be handling the aftermath of those brutal events. Not wanting to leave her co-workers, paraplegic Holden and the smitten Seth, swamped, she calls her friend Tamara to cancel the party and suits back up. While Holden appreciates the sentiment, he doesn't want to see the girl pass up on her birthday, so he invites her friends (including her brother, Will) over for an impromptu surprise party. For Tamara, this is a double whammy. Not only is the party back on, but she has a strange fetish with death and the new location is right up her alley. She takes her boyfriend away from the shindig to hunt down Jacob's body. The massive murderer's corpse turns her on to an incredible degree, and naturally her squeeze is happy to oblige. While they're frick-fracking on a nearby autopsy table, Jacob gets up from his own, and infuriated by his mother's death at his own hands, continues his hunt against sin with a renewed vengeance.

Let's talk about the first See No Evil for a second. While it's pretty much universally panned, I can't think of any other reason other than the usual wrestling prejudice. It's not a great movie by any means, but as far as slashers go, it was pretty good. Plus, there were a few gimmicks that did a nice job setting it apart from his contemporaries. Namely, Jacob was driven by a twisted sense of religion and penance instilled by his mother, and he had a penchant for ripping out his victims' eyeballs. All of that is gone. Losing the eyeball thing was a really bad decision. That little change completely severed its connection to the first movie in the franchise, leaving this one to flounder on its own. Likewise, other than a line or two, the religious aspect was also nixed. In fact, the only thing that matched the tone of the first movie was its lack of nudity. Obviously, I'm not happy about that decision either.

So, with everything that defined See No Evil removed, See No Evil 2 has to fare solely on its own measures as a slasher. Unfortunately, it drops the ball pretty heavily in that regard as well. While they updated Jacob's image nicely, his trademark weapon (a chained hook) was used once, forgotten and replaced with a variety of sharp surgical equipment leading to a lot of unimaginative kills. Also, when the killer was living in Blackwell, he knew how to use the tunnels and one way mirrors to move around undetected and spy on the kids. Well, he still has the same level of omniscience here in the morgue. Plus, there are a few scenes where the only plausible explanation is teleportation. I understand that these logic issues are usually ignored in this genre, but I've always hated when filmmakers resort to this tactic, and this was no exception. Now, it was initially refreshing to see how it twisted around some genre expectations, but in the grand scheme of things it was all a superficial movie. Afterwards, everything goes exactly as the cliches dictate, including that final twist that everyone will see coming.

While it's an oddity for this genre, one of the things I was looking forward to was the actors. I know, I know, but there's actually a nice cast put together for this. Danielle Harris should be a familiar name to slasher fans, but this is certainly not her best work. While not quite as known, Katharine Isabelle also knows her way around the horror genre, but her character was shot before she even got a hold of it. She's supposed to be all quirky and obsessed with death, but instead it came off as a little mentally retarded. Michael Eklund has a slimy charisma, and he excels playing these douche bags that you love to hate. Here, I think his character was supposed to be a decent human being. Not a character you hire Eklund for. Finally, even Glenn "Kane" Jacobs was disappointing. Over the last sixteen years, Kane's WWE career has largely consisted of playing a violently derange monster. Hell, his debut schtick was entirely modeled after Michael Myers; he was tailor-made for a role in a slasher movie! However, here he mumbled a few lines about "seeing the sin" without any intimidation at all. Now, he's consistently delivered some scary fucking lines during his WWE tenure, so I really don't know what went wrong. They opened themselves up for a See No Evil 3 beautifully; maybe he'll get a chance to redeem himself in the near future.

When this movie was announced, my exact thought was "I'm really looking forward to this, but I know I shouldn't be." How right I was. What a shame. 3/10.
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