2014
10.28

Screamfest 2014: ‘See No Evil 2′ Review!

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The world premiere of Jen and Sylvia Soska’s See No Evil 2 was held at this year’s Screamfest Horror Film Festival in Hollywood, CA. The film is the unexpected sequel to the 2006 cult hit from ex-porn pioneer Gregory Dark.

The original See No Evil was not a great film, but it had one raw ingredient powerful enough to satisfy the appetites of slasher fans: WWE sensation Kane as a killer Jacob Goodnight, a tormented giant who swings a hook on a chain like a rodeo champ and collects eyeballs as trophies.

The Soska twins, writers and directors of American Mary, one of modern horror’s most impressive and brutal offerings, revive Jacob Goodnight for another go in See No Evil 2, producing a sequel that is not only superior to the original film, but a love letter to the slasher genre.

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See No Evil 2 picks up on the night Jacob meets his demise at the hands of some very lucky survivors at the Blackwell Hotel. With his left eye gouged out because irony and numerous fatal injuries from being pushed out a high story window, Jacob is declared dead and en route to the city morgue where scream queen Danielle Harris is working.

Harris plays Amy, a pretty med school dropout working the graveyard shift on her birthday to help process the arrival of Jacob’s body. Surprised by her friends and coworkers with an impromptu party, Amy’s evening doesn’t seem so bad. That is until her friend Tamara, who apparently has a thing for serial killers, goes looking for Jacob.

Katharine Isabelle returns to the Soska fold to play Tamara, and easily steals every scene she’s in with a natural knack for humor and hotness. Watching her mount Jacob’s corpse, briefly cuckolding her boyfriend as she bumps and grinds on the stiff, tickles the funny bone while triggering gooseflesh.

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Trouble comes quick when Jacob awakens from the dead to see Tamara and her boyfriend going at it. Enraged, he completely crushes him and chases after Tamara, slaughtering all who cross his path. The next unfortunate soul is Amy’s boss Holden, a good natured and wheelchair bound Michael Eklund, fresh off a menacing turn on A&E’s “Bates Motel.”

Jacob hooks Holden with his chain and yanks him down a hospital corridor. It’s a tragic scene that one expects to get worse once Jacob starts to pull on his chain, but the kills in See No Evil 2 aren’t particularly gory or shocking. Don’t misunderstand. The deaths are violent… just not outrageous. It’s an unexpected surprise, especially after the gruesomeness of American Mary, but there’s no need to fret.

What See No Evil 2 lacks in blood, it more than makes up in cat-and-mouse thrills. The chases are pure white-knuckle fun and provide plenty of jump scares. Kane is absolutely frightening as Jacob, physically on par with Jason Voorhees. The dialogue is funny and sharp and provides even the most secondary of characters with enough likability to kinda hope for their well-being… maybe.

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There is a twist to the film and it ends in a promising manner for those of us who hope to see another chapter in the WWE Studios franchise (hopefully with the Soska twins once again at the helm). See No Evil 2 is available on DVD and Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

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