Friday, October 6, 2017

Film Review: See No Evil (2006)

See No Evil (Review)
United States/2006
Format Viewed for Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"See No Evil isn't a great film, but it's a decent time killer, especially if you're a fan of slashers."

A group of prisoners are taken to clean the abandoned Blackwell Hotel in exchange for time off their sentences, unaware of the killer lurking in the building.

See No Evil is a simple film. The plot begins with Officer Frank Williams (Steven Vilder) and his partner investigating a call at an abandoned house. They find a woman without eyes and they're attacked by a hulking man. Williams survives the attack, but he's left without an arm. Fast forward four years and Williams, now working as a correctional officer, takes a group of prisoners to the abandoned Blackwell Hotel for some volunteer work. All is well until a killer (Kane) starts picking them off one-by-one. So, the survivors race to save their friends and escape from the building. The plot isn't very original or engaging, but the flashbacks to the killer's past are interesting. It leads to a decent ending, too.

See No Evil isn't a great film, but it's a decent time killer, especially if you're a fan of slashers. There are some suspenseful moments, there are plenty of brutal deaths, and Jacob Goodnight, the serial killer, is a strong, intimidating, and interesting antagonist. Unfortunately, the rest of the film is pretty mediocre. The characters are generic and annoying. I couldn't tell if they were supposed to be teenagers or adults, that's how badly they were written. There are a few interesting moments in the plot, like the flashbacks, but the rest is boring. I actually found myself dozing off at times. I really liked the setting, but it felt underutilized. Aside from a few death scenes, nothing stands out as fantastic. It's a standard slasher.

The acting was decent. Steven Vilder performed well during his limited screen time. Although it's not a major speaking role, which is probably a good thing, Kane had a strong presence on screen, the type to rival icons like Kane Hodder. The rest of the cast can be hit-or-miss. The film looked decent. I don't remember the music, so it must have been forgettable or nonexistent. The film was written by Dan Madigan and directed by Gregory Dark. The writing felt thin, lacking in characters and overall plot. There's a skeleton here—a beginning, middle, and end—but it's missing a lot of meat. Dark's direction is lacking in suspense and momentum. He creates some tense scenes, but the suspense often withers away too soon. The film comes to too many halts, constantly allowing the audience to drift off.

Overall, See No Evil is a decent slasher. It doesn't compare to the greats—such as Halloween, Black Christmas, or even the original My Bloody Valentine—but it offers plenty of gore and enough suspense to satisfy fans of the genre. However, if you're not a fan of the genre, you may find yourself watching a generic horror movie with little to offer.

Score: 5/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore, some nudity.

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