||See No Evil
2006 - R - 100 Mins.
|Director: Gregory Dark|
|Producer: Vince McMahon|
|Written By: Dan Madigan|
|Starring: Kane, Tiffany Lamb, Samantha Noble, Michael J. Pagan, Rachael Taylor, Christina Vidal, Steven Vidler |
|Review by: Joe Rickey
|Official Site: www.seenoevilthemovie.com/|
Gregory Dark's horror film has eight delinquents stalked by a hulking maniac in this WWE-produced venture starring the wrestling icon known as "Kane."
Shake, rattle, and roll
Eight prison inmates are given the opportunity to participate in the renovation of an old hotel as a way of knocking time off their respective sentences. They are led by a wounded (both physically and mentally) cop (Steve Vidler) who had his hand hacked off four years earlier by a deranged psychopath named Jacob Goodnight while rescuing a now eyeless victim (hence the title). He is joined by a woman named Hannah (Tiffany Lamb) whom we learn next to nothing about aside from her name.
Once at the hotel, the group is told by its caretaker that the top floor is off-limits due to fire damage years earlier and then left to its own devices. Naturally, the inmates do anything but listen to what they have been told and almost immediately make their way to the top floor. One group plans on looking for a safe supposedly filled with millions in cash while others plan on throwing the party of a lifetime. Unbeknownst to them, Jacob Goodnight himself calls the hotel home and is none too happy that his haven has been disturbed. Stalking, slashing, eye-removing, limb dismemberment (replete with the requisite blood and guts), and the occasional flashback to Goodnight's unscrupulous childhood ensue.
Slasher movies like this one still can work when done right. The audience for them has dwindled in recent years with the advent of the now itself fading J-horror (Japanese) fad that remade the likes of 'The Ring' and 'The Grudge' for English-speaking audiences More recently, the torture-horror phase has stepped with films like the 'Saw' franchise and 'Hostel' leading the way. What director Dark (making his mainstream debut after helming music videos for the likes of Britney Spears, Xzibit, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony along with a long career directing pornography) has created from Dan Madigan's screenplay (Madigan has up until now only written storylines for the WWE/WWF) is a film that attempts to merge the slasher sensibilities of films like 'Scream' with the gory torture aspects of 'Wolf Creek' and its ilk. Does it work?
Much to my surprise, the answer is mostly yes, it does indeed work. Sure, the plot is, as already established, well-worn. The acting isn't anything to be lauded (to be expected in a film produced by a guy who himself is an over-the-top persona), and the dialogue is nothing more than serviceable.
What then, makes the film as a whole work? Director Dark lends the film such a dark and dank atmosphere that even if nothing on-screen is really all that frightening, it works at least to get your adrenaline pumping because he brings such ceaseless energy to his direction. Even the seemingly mundane expositional scenes are rendered entertaining because of his sometimes overzealous use of imagery (flies and other disgusting creatures make so many appearances they deserve a SAG credit) and music video techniques such as slow-motion, jump cuts, and obtuse close-ups that could uglify even the most beautiful of people. His zestful crescendo of energy reaches a fever pitch during the gleefully gory finale that I forbid myself from spoiling. Let me just say it will have you laughing while simultaneously becoming more and more grossed-out as the seconds tick by. Be sure to stay after the credits for an irony-laden scene.
In the end, it is by virtue of director Dark's successful approach to direction, that the film is worth seeing for those who consider themselves horror fans. Others may just be too horrified by what passes for acting to enjoy the b-movie within.