10 December 2014 | Michael_Elliott
A Different Kind of Slasher
See No Evil 2 (2014)
*** (out of 4)
Surprisenly good sequel to the 2008 film has a group of friend's celebrating a birthday when one of them (Danielle Harris) can't leave work. What they don't realize is that the dead body of Jacob Goodnight (Kane) has come back to life and he's seeking more victims.
SEE NO EVIL was a decent, run-of-the-mill slasher film that was pretty much entertaining due to its incredibly graphic and over-the-top gore/murders. Outside of the murders the film really wasn't all that memorable so I was shocked when a sequel followed so many years later. I was even more shocked when I learned Jen and Sylvia Soska was directing it. SEE NO EVIL 2 isn't going to be mistaken for a masterpiece but I was pleasantly surprised to see how well it turned out thanks to a rather good screenplay and the very good direction.
Whereas the first film relied on gore and violence, this one here really doesn't contain too much of that and in fact some of the death's are off camera. Instead the Soska sister tried to add some tension and suspense and I think for the most part they succeed. There are some extremely good scenes including one where the Harris character is stuck in an elevator with the "dead" body. Another highlight includes a scene where two characters are in total darkness and keep striking a match to see where they are. There's an extended chase sequence through the basement, which also manages to build up some good suspense. The atmosphere created by the Soska sisters is another major plus and stuck inside such a small location the directors are also able to build up a claustrophobic nature.
The performances are pretty much what you'd expect to see in a film like this. Harris is always fun to watch and she manages to bring you into her character and make you care for her. Kaj-Erik Eriksen also gives a good performance. Katharine Isabelle plays her typical slut character but man is she terrific here. She clearly steals the film in a rather over-the-top "kiss" that I won't spoil. Kane doesn't give what one would consider a great performance but there's no doubt that frame of his makes for an impressive killing machine. The film also manages to have some nice cinematography and a very effective music score.
The screenplay contains moments where the characters do stupid things but this is a horror movie after all. I really can't think of too many horror films where the characters are doing smart things because if they were the movies would be over fairly quickly with them all getting away and surviving. I really liked what the writers did here including a couple twists that happen in the final ten-minutes including one that even the most jaded horror fans won't see coming. SEE NO EVIL 2 isn't going down in history as one of the greatest films ever made but it's certainly an entertaining slasher.