See No Evil
Distributed by Lions Gate Films
and WWE Films
Running Time: 84 minutes
by Jon Minners
Glen Jacobs is a wrestler who has played several roles in his career, but for close to a decade, his role as Kane has struck a nerve with fans who love him almost as much as his storyline brother, The Undertaker. Even as Kane, Jacobs has adapted his character from seriously burned victim in need of a mask to a psychopath who thinks he is horribly disfigured to just a disturbed individual looking to take out his tormented past on his unsuspecting opponents. Jacobs does a good job and it makes total sense that he would be the wrestler tapped to play the horror lead in the genre film, See No Evil.
See No Evil is the WWE's first true foray into filmmaking since they announced their new WWE Films imprint and was a smart gamble. Horror is easy. Producers do not have to throw too much money into the pot and can usually make a nice profit, even when the movie is lame. And when a film is actually good, that profit usually creates a bigger buzz for the film company and all future releases. See No Evil was good and it created a decent expectation for John Cena's The Marine, which unfortunately was good for all the wrong reasons and hurt WWE Films' reputation.
The See No Evil DVD release will hopefully restore the people's faith in WWE Films. The film follows two cops into a home where they encounter a hot young lady who just happens to have had her eyes plucked out. Suddenly, a menacing figure rushes out, puts an ax to one guy's head and chops another officer's lower arm off, but is hurt himself when the officer shoots him in the head. This opening scene was a great way to scare the shit out of the viewer and grab his or her attention as the plot of the film takes its true shape.
Four years later, armed with a prosthetic, the surviving cop is not a prison guard who has accepted an offer to take a group of delinquent kids to a hotel where three days of volunteer work aimed at cleaning the hotel out to make room for a homeless shelter will cut their sentence by a month. What no one realizes is that lurking in the hotel is the same man who encountered the cop in the past - both want revenge and the kids are stuck in the middle.
See No Evil features a cast of nobodies led by Christina Vidal, who appears to be the only character with the possibility of a future in acting. The fact that there are nobodies making up the cast actually helps the film retain a sense of unpredictability. The viewer will continue to make guesses as to who will survive if there are any survivors at all.
Characters die rather brutally with Kane's character, Jacob Goodnight, dragging bodies around, slamming their heads into walls without care before pulling their eyes out in a ritualistic slaying meant to showcase how the eyes are the windows to a person's soul. One girl, whose constant cell phone chatter leads to her discovery, dies when Goodnight shoves the phone down her throat in a very cool and inspiring scene for those tired of hearing people talking so loud on their phones.
The killings are not without reason. Flashbacks are scattered throughout the film to explain Goodnight's tormented past at the hands of a religious tyrant for a mother who considers everything a sin and believes her son to be the hand of God. A lot if explained in a short amount of time as the bodies pile up.
Kane or Glen Jacobs may never be the leading male in a romantic comedy or drama, but as the violence goes on around him, he shows some excellent acting chops, using a variety of facial expressions and mannerisms to give his character depth without saying so much as three words in the entire film. There were no corny jokes and there was no need for any masks to instill fear in the viewer. In fact, Kane didn't need much makeup to play the part. The dude is that scary and it lent a level of believability to his character.
We may have a new franchise killer on our hands and while the premise is not too original, certain elements of the film, such as Goodnight's struggle with himself in the end, really stood out as unique aspects worth taking note of. Great special effects and a dark, dreary location really lend to the credibility of what was just a fun movie to watch. It doesn't break any ground, but it doesn't do anything to set back the horror genre at all. The film actually stands up pretty well to others of its ilk and one could certainly see a sequel and a film future for Kane beyond the WWE ring.
No one needs to buy the film, but See No Evil should be at least seen once. It would be a sin not to.
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