See No Evil


Kane as Jacob
Christina Vidal as Christine
Steven Vidler as Williams
Samantha Noble as Kira
Luke Pegler as Michael
Michael J. Pagan as Tye
Rachael Taylor as Zoe
Michael Wilder as Russell
Cecily Polson as Margaret
Colton D. Cotton as Chris
Craig Horner as Richie
Tiffany Lamb as Hannah
Penny McNamee as Melissa
Matthew Okine as Police Man
Zoe Ventura

Directed by Gregory Dark

With no real scares, shocks or surprises, not to mention bad writing, acting and awful production values, “See No Evil” is unentertaining at best, unwatchable at worst. Horror movies are supposed to scare you or make you squeamish; this one does neither.

Eight teen convicts are brought to the abandoned Blackwell Hotel to clean it out as community service. They soon discover that it’s the residence of a hulking psychopath (Kane) who has a thing for pulling out and collecting eyeballs. It doesn’t help that the guard watching over them (Steven Vidler) has had a previous run-in with the beast four years earlier.

There was once a day when wrestling was considered a sport. Of course, that was back in the days of the Ancient Greeks. Now, it’s more popular as a forum for large violent musclemen and the theatrics that happen outside the ring. Not that this has much to do with “See No Evil” except that it stars WWE superstar Kane, the latest “thespian” to make the transition from wrestling to movies, following in the footsteps of Hulk Hogan and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

It shouldn’t be too surprising considering that Kane’s introduction to the WWE was as something out of a horror movie, wearing a mask, barely speaking a word and brutally clobbering anyone who got in his way. As a fan of the wrestler, I was curious to see how he’d fare without the mask in his feature debut. “See No Evil” really isn’t much of a stretch, since he spends most of the movie brutally killing everyone he meets, either by dragging them around on a large hook and chain, or casually plucking their eyeballs out to add to his collection.

After a prologue that shows a bloody encounter between two beat cops and the brute four years earlier, we’re introduced to the story’s roster of pretty-young-things, obviously cast more for their looks and physiques than their acting abilities. That’s fine, since they’re basically playing the stereotypical “bad teens” we’ve seen in every other horror movie, more concerned with smoking pot or having sex than acting responsibly or smart. As usual, most of them are so annoying from the second they open their mouths that you can’t wait to see them slaughtered, and it’s disappointing how long it takes to getting to business.

On the other hand, the only even remotely interesting character is that of their guard Williams, the survivor of that prologue, who was deeply affected by the incident that lost him not only a partner but also his arm. You can tell that he’s still bitter about how his life has ended up, and you would think that more would be done with that but no, he’s quickly picked off and forgotten, leaving the stupid sex-crazed inmates to fend for themselves.

For the most part, the movie is a haphazard mix-and-match of “Texas Chainsaw,” “Friday the 13th” and “Psycho.” If you’ve seen any of them, the movie is fairly predictable, but even “Saw II,” which used a similar premise of convicts being locked up in a house, did more with the premise. It’s not too surprising that the movie was written by a guy who pens those bad monologues and storylines from the WWE’s hit television programs and directed by Gregory Dark, who has made a living making music videos after an earlier career directing porn films.

Surprisingly, surrounding Kane with so many bad actors insures that he doesn’t come across as the worst of them, even though he only says two words in the whole movie. Regardless, his character “Jacob” is no Leatherface or Jason Voorhees, his only motivation for killing being the fact that he was kept in a cage as a boy and tortured by his ultra-religious mother. Flashbacks are used to tell his story, but all they achieve is to make him more sympathetic than his victims. The kills aren’t even particularly creative or original, as Jacob’s appearances are telegraphed by CGI flies or loud stomping noises. The only time things get even remotely exciting is when Jacob finally faces off against the surviving teens, leading to a gory finale.

Technically, the movie isn’t particularly good. The production values are terrible and the movie lacks any real flair. Everything looks fake, like it takes place on a large overdressed set, maybe because it does, and Dark’s attempt to create a stylized film involves twitchy camerawork, jarring editing and bargain basement CGI, all of which makes the whole thing even more unwatchable.

Don’t even try to think too hard about things like, “Where did that taser come from?” or “Why is that girl taking a shower in a disgusting abandoned hotel filled with horny male criminals?” or “How come she isn’t bleeding to death from having a large hook embedded in her shoulder?” Sure, horror movies rarely bother following any semblance of logic or reality, but considering how much this has ripped off from other sources and how bad it looks, you would think they would make some effort to be called on stupid things like continuity or reason.

The Bottom Line:
When you have a horror movie starring a wrestler and he’s not the worst part of the movie, you know you’re in trouble. Surely, even wrestling fans have higher standards than to sit through what is basically a low-budget rip-off of far better horror movies, but anyone who truly wants to “See No Evil” should simply avoid this movie altogether.