Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Monday, October 21, 2013


See No Evil (2006)

If you think this is about the classic 1971 horror film with Mia Farrow, you're reading the wrong blog. That's one of the reasons why I wish these guys would come up with something original - something without 'Paranormal', 'The Haunting Of', 'Of The Dead', 'Conjured' or 'Conjuring', or 'Massacre'. The title to this first outing of the WWE Films company went through several changes and each just made it worse. First it was Eye Scream Man - yeah that's stupid but no one else has used it. Except a villain in a Marvel comic book. Oops, Eye Scream Productions is what the WWE called their company for this movie. Sorry - not.

The next working titles were The Goodnight Man which I thought was the best one but... again it was changed, this time to Goodnight. Still... passable. But since this is a teenager slasher film I guess they went for the lowest common denominator and settled on See No Evil.

This is also professional wrestler Kane's first gig. Umm, as an actor - in the WWE circuit he (Glenn Jacobs) is well known. And before you pass off this seven foot tall, three hundred and change pounds wrestler as just some dumb guy they used for this movie, Jacobs earned a degree in English literature at Northeast Missouri State University where he played both basketball and football. Don't judge him by looks, people, no matter how much he growls.

Anywho, why would I care or even watch this get-them-together-and-kill-them-one-by-one slasher film that follows my horror worksheet (patent pending) to the letter? Well, the first couple times I watched it (you heard me) was because, honestly, I forgot a lot of what it was about. I remember the kids are snotty law breakers, made to work to clean an old hotel being turned into a museum to take time off of their sentences.

I remembered one chick not being killed right away because of her religious tattoos (later, later children) and I remember a HUGE guy dragging these people all over like they were made of paper. That's about it. But the Soska sisters, the Canadian twins and makers of the movies Dead Hooker In A Trunk and American Mary, heard that the WWE were interested in making a sequel and as they loved this film they batted their eyes and bounced up and down... Sorry - they did no such thing. Their thoughts: 

Jennifer Soska: "There are so many beautiful subgenres in the horror genre. We see this not as a slasher but one of those films like a Halloween or A Nightmare on Elm Street where you have this character, Jacob Goodnight, who by every right should be a horror icon, and we’re really going to develop that in this one. I think in the first one there was a bit of missed opportunity to not brand this character to bring it to that level where people can dress up as him for Halloween and have him on a T-shirt and talk about him, so that’s a huge thing that we’re going to be undertaking in this one."

Sylvia Soska: "It’s so funny because after we finished American Mary, you would not believe the meetings that we had with various different studios and various different scripts and they wanted American Mary again. They wanted a medical horror starring Katharine Isabelle in sexy surgeon outfits where she’s doing underground surgery. We had done that. No matter what happened they were like, “Oh, just do it again, 
do it again.” It was so funny because when we were first selling American Mary nobody wanted it and now everybody’s like oh, we’ll do that again.

One thing I didn't find American Mary has that’s really exciting about the See No Evil project is: scary. I've always wanted to make a film with Jen that is so scary and upsetting, it just keeps you at the edge of your seat while you’re watching it. We’re big Hitchcock fans and he always says it’s the lead up, not the payoff, that really gets under your skin as an audience member. And remember, See No Evil 1 had a lot of payoff, but the lead up, the seduction, wasn't there."

Hmmm? The movie? Well we start with two policeman looking through an abandoned house. They find a woman held captive with her eyes torn out. One policeman is killed, the other loses his arm but still manages to shoot the guy in the head - saving his own life. They find seven bodies with no eyes and I'm starting to think is this an urban telling of Jeepers Creepers (2001)? Fortunately, not even close.

So skip ahead skip ahead and we've got some juvies looking to take time off their sentences. They're in for petty crimes - we're not talking murderers, we're talking lighter crimes idiots. What was a little different (very little) is that instead of the required five or six, we've got eight young 'uns to kill off. Oh goody.

And die they do - they might have lived if they had behaved and stayed where they're supposed to (says the old woman) but hey this is about teen rebellion and them having been caught and in jail shows they don't have a whole lot of smarts anyway. The same police officer who lost his arm and a female officer are 'supervising' this little project that happens in no city anywhere on earth. And they start to die.

You don't see Jacob Goodnight (Kane) except briefly at the start, but soon his huge presence is known (he does not speak, I don't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing) as kids disappear, being carried off for those eyeballs he's so fond of. Why? We have to wait quite a while for some backstory to explain the motive behind his bizarre collection.

So sneak sneak, die die, out come the eyeballs, plunk they go in the jars of... something. Lather, rinse, repeat. That's why I saw it a couple of times - the teenagers are pretty unremarkable so except for this huge mountain of a man there's not much to see. Finally we're down to a couple of kids (the two supervisors biting it pretty early in the movie) and the kids discover that the sweet old lady who hired them is actually Jacob's mother (and if you didn't know that the second she showed up I've taught you NOTHING) who tortured him as a kid, telling him his natural urges toward females was sinful and dirty (hey lady you had a kid so...) and that the eyes were the 'window to the soul' so she started the gouging first, plus keeping him in a cage - all in the name of religion. Isn't that special?

Which is why the one girl who has some large religious tattoos is put in a cage instead of being killed outright. But his mother doesn't like that - she wants her dead NOW. The murder and mayhem is varied and almost interesting - anywhere from being 'hooked' to death, to being devoured by wild dogs. And Kane, even though he doesn't say a word, has some really impressive range of looks from mad, to really mad, to sadly mad, to... oh sorry Kane fans. 

Ultimately, as I guess they weren't expecting a sequel, Goodnight is shoved out of a window and even though he holds on to the windowsill he drops when a pipe is impaled into his eye, making a real good hole. Just in case though, they have him fall through a glass atrium and when he hits the ground we get an inside view of his body so we can see his rib break and pierce his heart, killing him. The last scene is of one of the wild dogs, pissing in his eye socket. Brutal.

I'm not dissing this movie at all - hey, I used to watch wrestling all the time, I know how it works - these guys are like ultimate heroes to some. So I will say, truthfully, that this seven foot dude (who I already mentioned is smart) did a great job as the tortured and torturer.

So I can understand and I'm actually looking forward to seeing (small pun) what the Soska sisters have come up with (the sequel is set for 2014) - how Goodnight is resurrected and who his next set of victims (I'm assuming that will include the Soska sisters since they like to act in their own movies) will be. It will still be yet another teenage slasher flick but since it will be a Soska sisters slasher flick that's not such a bad thing, right?