Directed by: The Soska Sisters
Cast: Danielle Harris, Katherine Isabelle, Glenn Jacobs, Kaj-Erik Eriksen
I had high hopes for the Soska Sisters’ new trek into terror, See No Evil 2. It’s not that the first See No Evil was special in any way, in fact it was far from it. It was a mediocre slasher with a decent villain on display and a handful of satisfying death scenes. But the Soska Sisters are being touted as the next big thing thanks to their impressive picture, American Mary. Now that was a good film, and it gave way to hope for a strong franchise film when it was announced that Jen and Sylvia would helm this flick. See No Evil 2 however, is not a good film. It’s certainly not an abysmal production, but I can’t recommend it as a must-see flick, either.
The story picks up where the first flick left off. Jacob Goodnight (WWE’s Kane) is in the morgue, and with him arrive a myriad of other bodies, all of which are there as a direct result of Goodnight’s killing spree in the 2006 series opener. Amy (Danielle Harris) is working overtime on her birthday in order to get the surge of corpses processed. But when her friends arrive to surprise Amy, things get out of hand. Jacob suddenly rises from the metal slab in which his seemingly lifeless body rests… and then it’s off and running, another slaughter fest with Jake in the driver’s seat. Amy’s friends are systematically disposed of by the hulking killer with mommy issues until only a few careless youths remain. Can they thwart Jacob’s goal to annihilate everyone, or are they destined to wind up on metal slabs as well?
There is absolutely nothing here that resembles creativity. If you’ve seen a slasher cliche exercised to exhaustion, you can bet it’s included in this film. The characters are typically pretty cardboard. Amy’s the good girl, Tamara’s a sexual freak, and she’s got a willing boy toy with her. Seth is the nice guy, and Will is the toolbag overprotective brother. There are a few others sprinkled in the mix, but they’re not personalities that stand out for any reason, and they don’t break the mold in any way. Watching the group killed off one by one elicits no emotion other than, perhaps, joy in the viewer. It’s just a dull group of players.
Surprisingly, the gore is actually toned down quite a bit in this follow-up. The first film featured some admirable special effects and unforgiving brutality… this one just… doesn’t. The acting is, dare I say, a bit improved. But with players like Harris and Katharine Isabelle attached, an improvement on the burden of the thespian is pretty much expected. There are some wonderful camera techniques used, but those techniques are possible because of the film’s settings. Take this one out of a hospital-like setting and I’m not sure the Soska sisters duplicate the chills we get eyeing long, dimly lit and completely abandoned corridors.
While the picture does succeed in setting up a launch point for further franchise installments, and while the finale is a bit bleaker than anticipated, See No Evil 2 does little for the franchise and absolutely nothing for the stock of the Soskas. There’s nothing happening in this film that any other knowledgeable young filmmaker couldn’t make happen. Slasher fanatics will likely find this pic enjoyable (it is admittedly better than most micro/indie-slashers being pumped out today), but even the hardest of hardcore fan of the subgenre will likely admit that See No Evil 2 isn’t special in any way. It’s just an alright movie that should help pass time on a slow night.