June 1, 2015 by Liza Lou
Let me start this review by saying that I am a recent convert to the world of WWE and as a result have been actively seeking out films produced by WWE studios so I can see some of my favourite wrestlers in their acting roles. See No Evil stars authority bad guy Kane as psychopath Jason Goodnight but more about that later.
See No Evil is essentially a teen slasher film and was the first major release by the WWE, it was released by Lions Gate Entertainment in 2006 and had horrific reviews. I was expecting very little from it in all honesty and now I have seen it I think I was overtly generous in my initial thought. I will explain…
The overall premise smacks of cliche from the offset. A bunch of teenage delinquents are sent to do community service at a run down hotel unaware that a psychopath is living there. It is nothing I haven’t heard before from a plot line and unfortunately the cliches keep coming thick and fast.
The first act introduces to the characters and for fifteen minutes we are treated to wooden acting and snarly teenage angst played badly. The girls seem more likable than the guys but it is worth noting that these are a bunch of criminals and the characterisations have been written as such. Christine Vidal (Freaky Friday) is the stand out of a bad bunch for me and her sincerity is at least believable.
Through the second act the plot line splits the teens as they go about various things in the rotting hotel thus making way for the predictability seen in other teen slashers. The attempt at a suspense build up with the whole ‘someone is watching’ routine falls flat and the foil to Kane’s villain, Michael played by Luke Peglar is no where menacing enough to fool anyone.
By the time we actually see Kane, he just appears with no element of surprise but in all fairness as a villain he looks great. Of course, as a wrestler he is a big guy but he literally towers over his victims and looks scary enough. He remains silent throughout until the very end which ruined it for me because their just wasn’t enough from him to keep me entertained.
So what about gore, this being a slasher movie after all? It was there but a couple of deaths in it all seemed very samey although I let this slip because this villain has specific methods. The film had some decent enough shots (the kind that the Saw franchise did brilliantly) but for the most part I felt bored as the story just dripped along.
A mini twist half way through tries to pull the audience back in but a lack of development off the back of this, that I felt was integral to Goodnight’s character, allows it get lost. From thereon in the film just dragged even with one of the goriest scenes not able to save it. I felt like I was forever waiting for something to happen and didn’t care who died next or how.
I longed for pay off and in the third act the pace does pick up as there is a frantic lead up the twist, showdown and ultimate conclusion. For once I never guessed the big reveal but I didn’t care either because by that point I wasn’t really paying attention.
See No Evil never really redeems itself and the fact that there is a sequel blows my mind. I will however, have to give it a go.