Kane (Glen Jacobs)
Michael J. Pagan
A healthy 84 minutes.
Trivia The cinema tagline "This summer, evil gets Raw" refers to the WWE wrestling show that Glen Jacobs (Kane) appears on, "WWE Monday Night RAW"
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See No Evil (2006)
21st Jan 07
A group of teen delinquents get chased around a big old hotel buy an American Wrestler, with eye popping results.
Like many a good slasher movie of yesteryear, See No Evil opens with a good old fashioned flashback. Well, two actually. The first is a grainy 70s film stock, jump-cutting MTV style montage of a naked boy in a cage somewhere in that twisted wasteland we know as middle America. His mother is some kind of religious freak who likes to push pages ripped from pornographic magazines through the bars shouting "It's filth, look at it!" Then she points at his penis and shouts "I know what you do with that!"
After maybe a minute of that we thankfully move on to flashback number two which looks more recent, this time with two police officers turning up at an undisclosed address. Breaking down the front door the stench of death is overwhelming but, rather than call for back-up, ranking officer Williams decides they should proceed, which he later regrets as he watches his partner take an axe in the face and his own hand get chopped clean off. They save the girl, even though she's already had her eyes cut out, but at quite a cost.
With flashbacks done with it's time to face the present day. Williams is a little older, has a plastic hand and is now working with the probation service, with today being the day when he has to babysit a half dozen or so teenagers as they help clean up the old disused Blackwell hotel as part of plans to turn it into a homeless shelter. And, for once, they all seem to have a reasonable attempt at a back story, which is all explained on the coach ride to the hotel.
We have Michael, who's the resident pusher with the violent attitude. There's Christine the lesbian, who's got a thing for Kira. Kira, in turn, has a history with Michael as she used to work for him and he was apparently quite abusive so she's none too happy Michael's along. Tyson, the token black kid with a similar 'no backing down' attitude takes an instant dislike to Michael and they start punching each other within minutes, but he gets on with Richie the computer geek, who's printed off a map of the building the Blackwell building with a mind to doing some treasure hunting in the disused penthouse suites. Also we have Zoe the blonde slutty character, who's already had her condoms confiscated before the coach ride even begins, so retaliates by stealing one of the supervisorís mobiles; a plot device that's criminally ignored later on. And finally we have Russell and Melissa, Melissa being the do-gooder animal rights activist who immediately looks set to be the lead character. Russell it seems is purely in the movie to represent the Latin Quarter and, um, make it with Melissa, which is a dirty job but someone has to do it.
So with all the introductions done it's time to get down to business and the cleaning up starts, with our killer Kane using the famous Blackwell building's secret passageways and things to move around the place, occasionally starring at them through psycho-style eyeholes, his perving over Kira in the shower and nearly getting caught being the early highlight for more reasons than one. But it's inevitably not until lights out that the fun really begins.
With Michael announcing that he's sneaked a few joints in with him, a plan is soon hatched to have a midnight smoke 'em up in the penthouse, and half our motley crew head off for some subversive fun. The only people left behind in fact are Richie and Tyson who have that treasure map plan they want to try out, while in the girls' room Kira is a little shook up after spotting what she assumed was Michael starring at her showering so doesn't fancy it, and Christina loyally stays with her. This of course means that we have three sets of teens wandering about a huge building on their own with a big bad ass psycho killer on the loose. Sigh.
So, to say that See No Evil is an original take on the slasher movie would be stretching the truth somewhat. In fact, it's far easier to say that this movie encapsulates every slasher clichť imaginable. The troubled killer, the cop who has a history with the killer, the teens who party, make out and then get killed, the closed environment of the Blackwell building, the lack of external communications and the slightly predictable twist ending - they're all standard slasher movie tools and will come as a surprise to no one. But the thing is should you hold that against this movie? Ask yourself this, if this movie was 20 years old and you'd only just discovered it, would your opinion of it be different?
Well, of course, the answer is a big fat yes. For one thing the look and feel of the film is pretty competent, akin to modern horrors like the House of Wax or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, it being filtered to give it deep, menacing hues. The direction and the editing are quite astute for the piece, something like a cross between the MTV horror style of the late nineties and good old fashioned grind house, fitting the mood well. The slower sequences are surprisingly watchable because the cast do a reasonably amusing job of delivering some quite cheesy lines and cringe inducing dialoge while representing a set of text book Hollywood teens, and the action set pieces certainly deliver on the promise of a true old school slasher, with a decent bit of gore thrown in (youíre in for a treat if youíre into eye-gouging).
The plot, as predictable and thin as the set up sounds, isnít entirely without surprises, namely the surprise exit of a few characters early on that you would have bet your life would make it to the end, and as a result you tend to sit a bit further forward on the sofa from then on. And there are a couple of surprisingly gruesome and inventive deaths too, so you gore hounds will be pleased about that.
In fact, See No Evilís quite a fun little movie. Yes, itís an acquired taste I suppose and as with most slasher movieís thereís always a long dull bit in the middle, this time with the various groups walking around corridors of the house catching up on each otherís back story and what have you. But it doesnít ruin the film and, in some ways, adds to the old fashioned charm. Because thatís what this movie is, itís an old fashioned gory teen slasher movie that is exactly just that. Itís mindless entertainment, thinly plotted, gory fun and if thatís what youíre after thisíll be right up you alley. Donít expect anything cerebral and you wonít be disappointed.
Mind you, you wouldnít expecting anything like that from a film produced by the WWE (yes, the wrestling people), directed by a former porn director (of The Devil In Miss Jones fame) and starring an American wrestler named Kane, now would you?
Versions Only R1 at the moment, but the R2 release will be out soon enough.