See No Evil was "one of those" horror movies not screened for critics; I seldom get around to seeing those on my own dime, so I was fine waiting a few months for my DVD screener. I was in no hurry, really, considering the fact a professional wrestler was starring and I'd never heard of any of the other actors in it. Oh, yeah, and there was the matter of the overwhelmingly bad reviews from the critics who did see the movie on opening day.
So maybe my expectations were low, but I liked See No Evil right from the start and it held my attention till the very end. Sure, it's riddled with clichés, but the pace moves right along and there are truly grisly, quite inventive, death scenes. Isn't that what we watch slasher flicks for?
Set in a world that could have been conceived of David Morrell (Creepers/historic hotel) and Lucio Fulci (From Beyond/eyeball obsession), See No Evil follows the evildoings of a reclusive psychopath named Jacob Goodnight (Kane) who's been holed away in a rotting hotel called The Blackwell. A group of juvenile delinquents are sent to clean the derelict digs, never guessing that it could cost them their eyes (and lives!).
The death scenes are quick, vicious, and often bring to mind some of the 70s Italian giallo/slasher flicks. Keep your peepers open for the scenes involving dogs, and an awesome fall from a high window.
See No Evil certainly has a mongrel's pedigree — starring a WWF celeb, helmed by a former porno / music video director, and written by a guy who's only credits include TV episodes of Smackdown! — it could have been a helluva lot worse. Music by Tyler Bates and crisp, striking cinematography by Ben Nott help a lot, as do some good visual effects.
An uncomplicated, brutal and bloody horror movie, See No Evil is worth a look.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson