See No Evil (2006)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
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Connections: See No Evil

A group of delinquents are sent to clean the Blackwell Hotel. Little do they know reclusive psychopath Jacob Goodnight has holed away in the rotting hotel. When one of the teens is captured, those who remain - a group that includes the cop who put a bullet in Goodnight's head four years ago - band together to survive against the brutal killer. --IMDb
Glenn Jacobs
Glenn Jacobs
Christina Vidal
Christina Vidal
Michael J. Pagan
Michael J. Pagan
Samantha Noble
Samantha Noble
Steven Vidler
Steven Vidler
Review by bluemeanie
Added: May 24, 2006
The horror genre has suffered in 2006. With worthless remakes like "When A Stranger Calls" and absolute garbage like "Stay Alive" stinking up the theatres, one would think that the genre might be all but a memory, very similar to the state of horror during the late eighties and early nineties, pre-"Blair Witch". Any old turd gets greenlit these days, and it doesn't matter how ridiculous the plot is, how bad the actors are, or how cheesy the blood and gore turns out. All that matters is one question - "Will it show profit?" In the case of most of these films, the answer is always 'yes'. Why? Because most horror films are cheap to produce, easy to market, ready for sequels. A company like Lionsgate can churn out a gruesome little bloodbath for around $10 million, earn half that opening weekend and then see a decent enough profit in the end to warrant the continuation of such a trend. "See No Evil" is a perfect example of that method. Co-financed by World Wrestling Entertainment, this film would have been a certain direct-to-video release a few years ago. In 2006, however, it is just what the doctor ordered for both Lionsgate and the slightly post-pubescent teenagers who flock to the megaplexes to see jean models get ripped to shreds - this time by a professional wrestler named Kane.

Take "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", toss in a little "Saw", spice it up with bits and pieces of "Friday the 13th" and just a dash of "Halloween" for good measure, and that is exactly what you get with "See No Evil". Glen Jacobs, aka Kane, stars as Jacob Goodnight (though his name is never mentioned in the film), a demented serial killer who slaughters anyone he can and cuts out their eyes. The film deals with a group of kids from a local detention center who are offered a shorter sentence if they agree to help clean up the old Blackwell Hotel. They, of course, agree. One by one, they are ruthlessly massacred by Kane and his hook o'death. The teenagers represent your typical group of the 'soon to be murdered' - the schemer who thinks there is buried treasure somewhere in the hotel, the sassy black guy with the Master P street slang, the two chicks with the major lesbian vibes, the asshole whom everyone hates, and the poor Hispanic guy who looks like Freddie Prinze, Jr. and serves no cinematic purpose except to die. They don't even give him the honor of dying on screen - we don't even hear it. It just happens. I would tell you how many, if any, of the teens survive, but would you really care?

Where to begin? For starters, this film is just too unoriginal for its own good. We have seen this film a hundred times, in many different forms. Some of the shots in this film are pretty much stolen from other, better horror films. The plot is so cliché and so overused that it just propels the audience into that 'here we go again' attitude that causes the laughs and giggles during the scenes that are suppose to be somewhat tense and frightening. And, what's with some of the script? This guy is the only person in the world to have a blueprint to this hotel that shows the location of this super secret vault? How did he get to lucky? We are suppose to assume he is a hacker, therefore was able to get the map through the Internet. I find it difficult to believe that, after 30-years, no one has even tried to find this 'supposed' treasure. And, who didn't see the twist coming? When a character isn't on screen for thirty minutes and you haven't seen them die or eluded to as dead, you know they have to be in on it. It's just basis horrorology. The camera-work is also something that is so overused by horror films these days - the somewhat jerky, somewhat blurry, zoom in/zoom out technique. Why? Why can't you just show one of these punks dying without making it look like a Tilt-A-Whirl?

Alas, I guess I can find a few somewhat pleasant things to say about the film. The first death scene is cool. It completely rips off "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", but it is well executed and nicely done. I also thought Kane did a decent enough job as the killer, though most of the performance is grunting and huffing and puffing and giving menacing looks directly into the camera. He managed to not make his only spoken words sound corny. I give him credit for that. I also have to give props to any film that decides to go forth with the R-rating. So many horror films that might have had potential cop out with the PG-13, thus eliminating all possible potential. On the flip side of that, I am also getting extremely tired of the films that try their best to be as gritty and bloody as possible, thinking that can somehow compensate for a total lack of originality. "See No Evil" is just a little too grimy for its own good. By the time we see Kane rip out his sixteenth and seventeenth eyeball, the effect has lots its luster, especially since all eyeballs seem to look the same once yanked out of a head. "See No Evil" desperately wants to be the next 'bad-ass' horror flick, the next "Saw". It wants to make more money its second weekend than its first. It will not. It will show profit, but now for a while.

Here's my suggestion, from one horror movie fanatic to another - give this one a shot. You are going to hate it, likely a lot, but it will give you some perspective on what is happening to the horror genre these days. This is exactly what happened from 1987 - 1999, a period when nothing memorable came around, with only a couple noteworthy exceptions. I truly fear that the horror genre is regressing back into the days when all we had to look forward to was the next installment of "The Puppet Master". "See No Evil" might have been better if it had wanted to be original. It didn't. It was satisfied with being just another run-of-the-mill slasher flick. You could tell. And, when you don't even see the desire to be better than average, that makes the film even worse. "See No Evil" is not as bad as "Stay Alive", by any means, but it definitely brings down the 2006 horror year even more. If you want to "See No Evil", don't go see this film.

Review by Chad
Added: December 06, 2006
Was I really the only one that actually enjoyed this movie? It seems that way after reading the previous review on this site in addition to the plethora of negative reviews floating around on other sites, but I truly don't see what it was about this one that garnered so much hate. Perhaps it was because the movie was produced by a wrestling company, or maybe it can be attributed to the fact that it stars a pro-wrestler in the leading role, but if you can overlook those two facts - and you should, since neither is particularly relevant in regards to the actual movie - then you'll wind up with a fairly solid and enjoyable horror flick.

Now, I won't say that it was a perfect film, nor will I revise my "best of 2006" list to include this entry. It did have some problems, but as a whole, the movie delivered exactly what it promised: lots of murders, a menacing serial killer, and some impressive kill techniques. It was almost like a throwback to the slasher flicks of the late eighties, which may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I personally love them and felt that this one fit right in.

The script, while not the most original thing to ever grace my television, was adequate enough for this type of movie. There's a serial killer lurking around inside this hotel, there's a group of teenagers locked inside with him, and mayhem ensues. As time goes by, we learn why Kane... excuse me, Jacob Goodnight... has set out to murder all of these people and why he has such a fascination with ripping out his victims' eyeballs. What more do you expect from a slasher film? There were some goofs in the script that should have been fixed, but in my humble opinion, none of these were important enough to gripe about. For example, my fellow reviewer on this site pointed out the following in his review:

This guy is the only person in the world to have a blueprint to this hotel that shows the location of this super secret vault? How did he get to lucky? We are suppose to assume he is a hacker, therefore was able to get the map through the Internet. I find it difficult to believe that, after 30-years, no one has even tried to find this 'supposed' treasure.

It's true that this doesn't make a whole lot of sense, I won't argue that. Well, it doesn't make a lot of sense unless you consider that some of those bodies littering the upstairs floors consisted of a couple of former treasure hunters, but let's just assume that nobody has ever heard about this treasure with the exception of our hacker hero. So what? This was hardly a focal point of the film, and pointing out something like this would be akin to griping about the motivations driving two of these these fresh-faced teens to pair off and have sex. The script could have just as easily called for these characters to decide to go upstairs in order to smoke some pot (oh, wait, the others were doing that), but in the end, what does it matter? They went upstairs, they met the man with the hook, and they died - what drove them to climb those stairs really didn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Characters in horror movies are rarely the brightest people, and if they were, we probably wouldn't have a horror movie to begin with since they would have eluded their tormentors within the first twenty minutes.

I won't dispute the fact that this is far from being the most original movie in the world, but I will say that it doesn't deserve all of the negative attention that it's received. If you go into this expecting something that will revitalize the horror genre or an ingenious storyline that will change the way that you look at movies in the future, you will certainly be disappointed. If, however, you want a movie that will entertain you, show you a number of brutal death sequences, and leave you anticipating the inevitable sequel, well - you could do much, much worse than this one. 7/10.
Cryptorchild #1: Cryptorchild - added 05/29/2006, 07:41 PM
Ah...Puppet Master. I like all those movies.
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 12/06/2006, 06:19 PM
Wow. A positive review for this film? Wow. The fact that this film stars a professional wrestler is relevant to the film. Why? Because, after watching the film, we need some excuse for his performance being so wretched and that excuse is a good enough one. "See No Evil" has NOTHING going for it -- not from an acting standpoint, a directing standpoint, an editing standpoint -- NO STANDPOINT. Wow. I have watched Primus videos with more coherency and creativity than this waste of time. I WARN THE GENERAL PUBLIC -- AVOID THIS FILM AT ALL COSTS!!! I WARN HORROR FANS THE WORLD OVER -- AVOID THIS FILM AT ALL COSTS!!! Unless it's comedy night.
Chad #3: Chad - added 12/07/2006, 02:34 PM
Compare Kane's character here to that of Jason Voorhees. They're not in the same league, obviously, but they share the same general traits: silent save for some occasional grunts, imposing, and they never stop coming after you. Personally, I think that's what a killer in a movie like this should be; I'm sick of the recent trend of having serial killers who double as stand-up comedians with their one-liners and such. I'll admit that this isn't a contender for movie of the year or anything like that, but for a simple slasher film, I felt that it delivered.
bluemeanie #4: bluemeanie - added 12/07/2006, 02:45 PM
Kane and Jason Vorhees have no relation whatsoever (except that Kane Hodder played Jason for a few films). Here's why -- Jason Vorhees had this slow and steady calculation to his kills. He always seemed more intelligent than a dead hulk should be. Kane slumps and dumps around this film like he has down syndrome. Secondly, Jason Vorhees is more menacing because you don't see his face, whether it be obscured by a hockey mask or a potato sack. Kane looks like a big, dumb animal and that wasn't scary at all. Music also plays a big part with Jason -- the music of the film helps highten the suspense. Nothing about the emo/screamo crap in "See No Evil" helped highten anything.
crAckerr #5: crAckerr - added 12/08/2006, 10:52 AM
Some of the kills in this movie were pretty cool. Other than that, there's nothing else to look for in this movie.
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