When See No Evil 2 was announced, the horror world let out a collective groan. The first look at Jacob Goodnight (played by WWEs Kane) was a generic, substandard affair that was as cookie cutter as it comes and offered little more than an overtly perverse ending. Then word got out that the up-and-coming Soska Sisters were to direct, the masterminds behind the truly disturbing American Mary, and scream queen Danielle Harris was to take center stage as protagonist Amy. What was once almost a surefire miss now had potential, and with the addition of genre vet Katharine Isabelle, it seemed like it was set to fire on all cylinders.
The final product is a bit of a mixed bag. See No Evil 2 takes place immediately after the events of the first one, as oft seen in horror, and introduces us to our new victims. Danielle Harris is Amy, a tech at the morgue where Jacob Goodnight and his victims are being delivered. Seth (Kaj-Erik Eriksen) and Holden (Ben Eklund, Nurse 3D) are her co-workers who throw her a surprise birthday party. When she decides to duck out on her actual party, her best friends come to her. Her two best friends, one of their boyfriends and her brother are all in attendance to really amp up the body count. Tamara (the ever talented Katharine Isabelle) has a kinky thing for serial killers and sneaks down to see the body of the eye gouging killer before indulging in a round of ever present slasher sex. Jacob Goodnight finally gets up and starts wreaking havoc.
A number of tangled plot lines start weaving their way into the film early on: Seths crush on Amy, Amys disconnect with her brother, and a slew of other storylines that dont really make an impact on the story but are nonetheless established. For some reason, the Soska Sisters force feed the audience a ton of flashbacks from the first entry, constantly, to remind us of the background of their killer. Two bigs problems with this: the first movie was a languid, boring mess and Jacob Goodnight is not a killer with a terribly interesting motivation. Its all been-there-seen-that with Goodnight and the constant flashbacks almost serve as unnecessary reminders of what a carbon copy he is.
The movie moves to a crawl once Goodnight starts roaming the halls. His first few kills are unimaginative and boring, crushing windpipes like Kane is still center stage at one of his weekly matches. As the movie progresses, the kills get a bit more creative, an homage is slipped in and plenty of pointing things end up gutting the twenty-somethings that are running around frantically in a modern day morgue that apparently has no means of escape. While some of the movie is enjoyable due to standard gore splashed slasher fare, for the most part you cant help but think havent I seen this already?
Danielle Harris and Katharine Isabelle are the shining stars. Harris plays her well known and highly regarded last girl (with a bit of a twist) and Isabelle balances the line between over the top and believably terrified, doe eyed and frantic yet realistic through out. Unfortunately, most of the other actors are just fodder for the sharp end of whatever tool Goodnight happens to be carrying around.
The most frustrating part of See No Evil 2 is you can see the potential. Talented directors looking to create a fun blood soaked traditional slasher romp with two powerful leading ladies. On some fronts they succeed and they create a much more enjoyable and far more watchable successor to the original. Unfortunately, the movie ends up feeling like something we have all seen already. This isnt always a bad thing but it ultimately ends up falling short of its actual potential.