If you’ve watched the WWE in the past, let’s say, 15 years, you’ve probably seen the superstar known as Kane. He is billed at seven feet tall, and over 300 pounds. How tall and heavy he actually is will likely never be known. The point is, he’s a big dude who is an imposing presence, but still isn’t so big that you don’t believe he’s agile, especially if you’ve watched him dive off the turnbuckle on television.
Now, taking this man and making him the villain of a slasher film seems like a good idea. Like I said, he’s a large dude who is intimidating, but still moves quick enough so that you can’t simply outrun him. Now, having him fight against a bunch of teenagers trapped inside of a rundown hotel also seems like it could work out. Slasher movies with a worse basic idea have worked in the past, and I could see this premise being put to good use. That didn’t happen, but I imagine that it could have worked out well.
We begin with a couple of police officers entering a home. They see a bunch of crosses, and hear a girl screaming. One of them takes an axe to the back of the head, while the other one gets it in the arm. He shoots, hitting the axe-weilder in the forehead. The axe is dropped, and the murdered runs away, while the surviving officer calls for backup. The screaming girl had her eyes torn out. We realize that the killer is Kane, although we only find out that his name is Jacob very late into the film. It’s not a spoiler, because the name is insignificant — I just would rather call him his character’s name rather than his WWE name.
We then move four years in the future, where the now one-armed cop is working at a prison. They’ve decided to instate a new program, where young-adults who have had good behavior get a chance to knock a month off their sentence by doing three days of hard labor. We get a close-up shot of each of these characters while they’re on the bus, as well as the reason they were imprisoned in the first place. None of it matters, because they’ll soon all be victims to Jacob the psychopath.
There’s a little bit of time building up these characters, and we get a small feeling of who they are. These aren’t bad people, especially after the killings begin. I had a hard time believing that they were convicts, actually, because they didn’t act like it. Most of their crimes were just things like drug possession anyway, and apart from them trying to get a curse word into every sentence, I would have assumed them to be average citizens. (Or is that average nowadays too?)
And then they start dying. Jacob has a hook that he uses to drag his victims away, and then he rips their eyes out, and kills them, although not necessarily in that order. Most of the time, he’ll kill them first, which means that the gore is actually somewhat toned-down from what I expected given how See No Evil opens. There is a lot of blood and bodily extremities on-display, and it eventually looks pretty silly. But that’s the sort of film this is, so if you like gory slasher flicks, you might actually enjoy this one.
Kane actually does end up making a decent villain, even if his character needed some massive rewrites. The back story given (abusive childhood) ends up being superfluous information, and aren’t you tired of the abusive-childhood-turned-superhero plot in slasher films? It seems like this is used fairly often to make the bad guy incredibly difficult to kill. He also gets almost no lines of dialogue, which was a shame, because it means that all Kane got to do was look menacing — something he does quite proficiently. I would have liked to see him in a speaking role though, as seeing how well he could act on-screen would have been fun.
Unfortunately, all of his hard work is undone by the script, which doesn’t give him anything interesting to do. He gets to smash through walls, hit people with axes and embed a hook into their shoulder, but that’s just about it. He does the same thing over and over again, with nothing being fresh or all that entertaining. We’ve seen it all before, and since that’s the case, we don’t get any thrills from the deaths, because they are all routine.
There also isn’t all that much suspense to the film, as it’s just about as standard and cliché as you come. There’s one surprise that got me, but it only serves to give us a little bit of reasoning — which is something we don’t really need. Isn’t having a possibly religious serial killer trapped in a hotel with a bunch of teenagers good enough? See No Evil doesn’t think so, so instead, we get a twist that makes sure this doesn’t happen.
I did like the setting, even if it was a bit too dark. A rundown hotel is a good place to have a serial killer show up, so putting it here worked in the film’s favor. And like I said earlier, the premise had potential, it just wasn’t used all that well. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, I did spend the entire film hoping for The Undertaker to show up. Yes, I left disappointed in this area.
See No Evil ends up being a mundane slasher film. It doesn’t contain much surprise or suspense, which means that any of the fun we could have had is removed and replaced with boredom (and maggots). It had a lot of potential, and Kane does make a good villain, but it doesn’t do anything all that well, and does absolutely nothing to differentiate it from other films in the slasher genre.