Glen "Kane" Jacobs - Jacob Goodnight
Christina Vidal - Christine Zarate
Samantha Noble - Kira Vanning
Luke Pegler - Michael Montross
Rachael Taylor - Zoe Warner
Michael J. Pagan - Tyson Simms
Year - 2006
Score - 1.5 Howls Outta 4
When it comes to professional wrestlers and films, the results aren't usually very good. Especially when they're the stars of the film. Hell, I can only think of a few good films starring pro wrestlers. There's THE SCORPION KING. And THE RUNDOWN. I kind of liked DOOM in a dumb sort of way. And WALKING TALL wasn't bad for a remake. And there's the bad ones. Like MR. NANNY. And SANTA WITH MUSCLES. And must we mention READY TO RUMBLE? So while The Rock is really the only successful pro wrestler-turned-actor, there are hundreds of Hulk Hogans out there ready to make you shoot your brains out.
This leads to my review for SEE NO EVIL starring Kane. I like Kane. Been a fan ever since he ripped that Hell In A Cell open 10 years ago and tombstone piledriven The Undertaker. But the guy has never gotten his due. A WWF/E champion for only 24 hours? Involved in a necrophilia angle with Triple H and Katie Vick? And what was up with that whole Lita and Snitsky angle? Geez. Give the poor guy a break. Maybe that's what Vince McMahon tried to do by making him star in the first WWE Films movie. It's quite obvious judging by what I saw that McMahon has no respect for the Big Red Machine. Bastard - and I don't mean Hornswoggle either.
A group of annoying and bland delinquent kids are forced to do community service at the abandoned Blackwood Hotel to get a month off their sentence. A one-armed cop who shot a homicidal maniac [who cut his arm to begin with after killing his partner] years ago in the head accompanies these "teenagers" to give them a second chance at life. Unfortunately for this cop, the past returns to haunt him and these delinquents when said maniac, Jacob Goodnight (Kane), lives at the hotel. Goodnight, huge and speaks with actions rather than words, takes it upon himself to graciously welcome these guests - by slaughtering them with his meat hook one-by-one before digging into their eye sockets and taking them as trophies. Using a massive maze of corridors and secret passageways, will these guests survive? Will they die? Are you surprised that Kane held a World Championship for more than just a day?
SEE NO EVIL, while not the most horrible horror film I've seen, isn't greatly memorable for any reason whatsoever. The characters are weak, the film is full of cliches, and the motivation for the killer reminds me of more than one film [CARRIE mixed with FRIDAY THE 13TH anyone?]. At least the film is extremely violent, I'll give it that. And the short running time of 84 minutes seems to go pretty quickly. I mean, I don't hate the film or anything. But when that's the only good things I can really say about it, we have a problem.
The lack of identifying with any of the victims really left me disconnected. I know this is a horror film and paper-thin characters are needed to be slaughtered by a more layered villain. But one person I could relate to would have been nice. Nobody was likable. Nobody had any character development other than their names and what they were arrested for. The jerk I really wanted dead didn't die [which totally depressed me]. I was looking for a Laurie Strode. A Nancy Thompson. A Sydney Prescott. A Tommy Jarvis. Someone I could identify with and actually root for. I honestly wanted Kane to slaughter all these bastards in the most horrible of ways. And some of them got that, which I'm thankful for. But the film goes right into the violence without giving us any backstory. What's the point? And why is the villain the most sympathetic character? I hate when horror films do that. There needs to be a balance between developing heroes and villains. Yes, the villains are the money-makers, but that's only because there's a strong foil in the mix. This film didn't have one and I was left cold. So what if these kids were good-looking. I'll watch AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL for that.
Because of this lack of characterization, the tension and suspense was lost in the process. Former adult film director Gregory Dark tried by making the characters wait for Kane to pop out of the many elevators or cheap walls, but nothing will make you jump or even feel creeped out. Not that he directed the film bad. But it was more style than substance, which really hurts the atmosphere of the film. We get a lot of quick cuts and flashes that will turn anyone epileptic. Fake jump-scares and random sound effects that try to scare you fail miserably. The cameras are jittery for whatever reason. While Rob Zombie did the same for his HALLOWEEN remake, it was done with a purpose of putting us into the film with the characters and making us feel what they were feeling. Dark used this technique in the weirdest of moments just to look cool. The MTV-style of filmmaking doesn't work well in a film like this. The film is lot more interesting when the camera actually calms a bit. Plus, while the cinematography was beautiful, it was too brightly lit for me. Could have gone a little more dark [no pun intended]. Not a horrible directorial job, but not a good one either.
The script by Dan Madigan [a WWE writer] is just as badly constructed as a WWE storyline. I already mentioned the lack of character development or any point to this film, but what's with this "Christianity is evil" angle again with the parents? It was done a lot better in Brian De Palma's CARRIE over 30 years ago. At least that led somewhere. What about FRAILTY? That also led somewhere. So Kane's character killed these people because they sinned? EVERYONE SINS! GET OVER IT! Why was Jacob Goodnight pulling the eyes out and keeping them in jars? Why was his mother so adamant about sinners? And why was she abusing her son like that? How the hell do I know because it was never revealed! All I know is that Kane's character was a mama's boy. It's getting really old. Let's save that stuff for Norman Bates and Jason Voorhees, okay? Speaking of the mother, what a great "twist" ending! Of course I'm being sarcastic. Kane's character just became more of a wuss once she was introduced. Nice way to keep the intimidation factor for your killer, Madigan. No wonder wrestling's in the crapper these days.
And the acting...it was tolerable at best. The girls were hot and sassy. The guys were tough until they confronted Kane and started peeing in their pants. Nobody stood out except for Kane as Jacob Goodnight, who did a very good job playing an intimidating psycho. He's huge. He's scary-looking. He barely speaks. Perfect casting! He also had good emoting scenes as well towards the end. It's sad when the wrestler is the best actor.
THE FINAL HOWL
SEE NO EVIL is a mediocre horror film that's trying to be THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, which it doesn't come close to achieving. With a generic slasher plot, weak characters, and decent kill sequences - it's a possible rent if you're curious about this one or you're just a Kane fan. This film will not scare you. But if you do want to be scared, rent SANTA WITH MUSCLES. I'm sure you'll have nightmares after that one...BROTHER!!