Directed by Gregory Dark [Other horror films: Night of the Living Babes (1987), Mirror Images (1992)]
God, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen this slasher, and I forgot just how amateurish some aspects of this movie are. See No Evil gets a few things right, but I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed the movie as a whole.
Before I skewer the film with my complaints, I’d like to say that the setting (a large, abandoned hotel) is on point. At times it felt a bit too gritty and messy, but still, I liked what they were going for. As for the kills themselves, there were decent. The idea of a large chain piercing your jaw, or impaling your leg and dragging you off, is pretty brutal, and of course getting your eyes ripped out would be a fate to avoid. There’s not a whole lot of gore here, but what they went with was still decent.
As for the story, though, boy, do some things bother me. Firstly, the idea of reducing one’s sentence by doing some work is fine and well, but they didn’t ensure there wasn’t a connection between any of the prisoners beforehand? As soon as it’s discovered one of the male prisoners had an unruly relationship with one of the women prisoners, either the male prisoner should have been removed immediately or the whole thing should have been scrapped.
Another thing – they take a group of eight prisoners to a hotel, give them some quarters after telling them to stay in their rooms, and though there are only two supervisors, they just go down to the bar and expect the prisoners to listen? Are you kidding me?
Once we get to the killings, the fact that the story’s pretty poor stops mattering, but there were some really questionable things in this script, and that includes the little twist at the end (I have a hard time believing that some of the background of certain characters didn’t go unnoticed or impact relations). There are aspects I liked about the route they took, but I just didn’t buy it.
I don’t know anything about wrestling, so I have no idea who Kane is, but he does decent here as a mostly silent serial killer. The little pieces of history they throw to us via flashbacks show what a terrible childhood he led (along with showing us the dangers of extremist religious beliefs), and does lend his character a bit of sympathy. I will admit to not understanding the tattoo thing, though – his mother pointed out to him that they were blasphemous, and he still rips eyes out of women who have them (see the opening), so why bother keeping them captive for a little if they have a tattoo? I just didn’t get it.
Other performances worth mentioning include Luke Pegler, Steven Vindler, and Rachael Taylor. Pegler’s character was awful throughout the film, as he was that macho-type guy who did idiotic things for no reason other than he can. He redeemed himself a bit when he started kicking ass toward the end, but his character was still atrocious. Vindler’s character was decently honorable in a way, though he didn’t add that much to the film, and while Taylor’s character was one of the most annoying, the fact that the actress later goes on to play Patricia Walker in the Jessica Jones MCU series is sort of interesting.
I need to mention this before getting to my rating, as much as I’d rather forget it. There’s a scene near the end in which a character falls out a window. That thirty second sequence, from the start of the fall to the landing, was drenched in some of the worst CGI I’ve witnessed recently. It just looked so bad. One thing about this film that I didn’t like at all was the editing, the quick, spooky cuts in rapid speed which made it seem more like a music video than a movie (which makes sense, as the director has done plenty of music videos in the past). Other films used this in worse ways (such as the utterly terrible Death Tunnel), but it was still annoying here.
Oh, and that extra post-credit scene? What a waste of time.
I liked some things about See No Evil, but other things were done utterly terribly. It’s a movie that might get by okay if you can ignore some story problems, or perhaps remove your own eyes so you don’t have to deal with the editing or CGI, but hey, the setting’s cool, and some of the kills are decent. It’s a below-average film, and very much a mixed bag.
This is one of the films covered on Fight Evil’s podcast. If interested in hearing some quality conversation, check it out below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss See No Evil.