See No Evil 2 Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
DVD released by Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK
Directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska
Written by Nathan Brookes and Bobby Lee Darby
2013, 90 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 20th October 2014
Glenn 'Kane' Jacobs as Jacob Goodnight
Danielle Harris as Amy
Katharine Isabelle as Tamara
Chelan Simmons as Kayla
It seems odd to kick off a review of a gory sequel to a WWE movie about an eyeball-gouging serial killer with a Mean Girls reference (it doesn't even go here) but, in my making a request to the creators of See No Evil 2, here it is: stop trying to make Jacob Goodnight happen.
WWE Studios first tried to make Jacob Goodnight happen in 2006's See No Evil, a passable but very forgettable slasher film with a clichéd story and even more clichéd villain. Wrestler Kane does imposing very well, but the character still reeks of his obvious Jason Voorhees influence. Like (apparently) many people, I saw and quickly forgot See No Evil, and had assumed that the thing was one-and-done, sunk without a trace. Apparently not. WWE has made a second go at the franchise, this time with the twisted Soska twins at the helm.
Taking place during the immediate aftermath of the first film, See No Evil 2 sees the corpse of Jacob Goodnight (anything less than the full name is apparently unacceptable, as people run around shouting “Jacob Goodnight!” all the time) shipped off to a local morgue, where he promptly returns to life, just like Jason Voorhees in Jason X. Prompted by visions of his mother to kill the nearby shagging youngsters (just like Jason Voorhees in Freddy vs Jason), Jacob Goodnight sets about murdering just about everyone in the vicinity... just like Jason Voorhees in, well, everything.
Along for the ride this time are recognisable horror faces Danielle Harris (who once fought Jason Voorhees actor Kane Hodder in Hatchet) and Katharine Isabelle (once killed by Jason Voorhees in Freddy vs Jason), injecting a shot of class into the proceedings. You'd expect the presence of the Soska sisters behind the lens might bump See No Evil 2 up in the DVD horror respectability stakes, but the filmmaking feels surprisingly flat. Only the final fight and an early scene with the repeated use of matches and Isabelle's wonderfully expressive face really impress. A lot of it, perhaps, is down to the fact that Jen and Sylvia Soska had nothing to do with writing the film – it lacks the quirkiness of their American Mary (overrated, but undeniably original) or ABCs of Death 2 segment.
To be fair, there are only so many ways one can shoot a corridor. Set during a city morgue during closing hours, at least fifty per cent of the film's setting consists of of dull, shiny corridors. There are dialogue sequences in corridors, a heavy petting sequence in a corridor, arguments in corridors, chase sequences in corridors, kill sequences in corridors and, frankly, so much running through corridors that it makes Doctor Who look sedentary by comparison. Jen and Sylvia do a good job of making those corridors look good, but it's no substitute for Camp Crystal Lake or Manhattan. Maybe I'm overdoing the Jason Voorhees comparisons, but that's only because Jacob Goodnight is such a piss-poor stand-in for the icon. Kane brings an impressive physicality to the role, but is given depressingly little to do. What he really needed was a Dennis Hopper or a Ken Foree to stand up against him, rather than the reactive Danielle Harris and her likeable but dull not-boyfriend. There's a good twist towards the end and the action is a highlight, but it could have been so much better.
See No Evil 2 is a passable but very forgettable slasher film with a clichéd story and even more clichéd villain. Its relatively high profile directors and cast are ultimately wasted on a boring location and uninspired writing. A sequel that nobody asked for to a slasher film nobody liked, the existence of this movie is confusing, its choice of directors utterly bizarre. Never mind Kane, fetch me the Friday the 13th box set instead.