While a woman with a disability in peril is a concept at least as old as the 1940s with THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE, such thrillers can be pure magic with an inspired script, evocative atmosphere, and tense camerawork. SEE NO EVIL has two of these things, which keeps it in second-tier thriller territory, I'm sorry to say, but it is still a decent time-waster elevated by Mia Farrow's convincing portrayal of blindness and some well-chosen camera angles which keep the sighted viewer just as in the dark as the heroine.
The problem is the story. The first half is promising. We get touching character moments with the vulnerable Farrow struggling to accept her disability and her family's well-meaning but awkward attempts to make the transition as easy as possible. We get glimpses of the faceless killer. The suspense is strong. The scene where Farrow goes about her routine, not knowing her family has been slaughtered, is pretty spooky stuff and very well done.
Unfortunately, the second half is plodding, with Farrow screaming and running in the mud, and never really getting a chance to fight back against the people menacing her. In these reviews, I see a lot of comparisons to WAIT UNTIL DARK (another movie about a blind woman in peril) and BLACK CHRISTMAS (another proto-slasher), but the strongest thing those two movies have that SEE NO EVIL lacks is an active heroine. The heroines in WUD and BC are terrified and vulnerable, but they fight back and get a lot more to do than just scream and cry for help. WUD in particular allows its heroine an arc-- even though the excellent set-up of SEE NO EVIL gives the script an opportunity to allow Farrow's character to grow, she never does.
It's a shame, because the movie has potential. While there are too many good things for me to dismiss it entirely, I can't call it a classic and would only recommend it to fans of Mia Farrow, who really is quite amazing here.
0 out of 0 found this helpful