Why am I watching and reviewing this straight-to-DVD horror sequel, to a critically panned 2006 original that I haven’t even seen no less? The answer is simple: it’s directed by the Soska sisters, who gave us what I felt to be the best horror movie of last year; American Mary. That this is their follow-up is a bit surprising, is a DTV sequel for WWE studios really considered a step-up from Canadian indie horror? I don’t know
See No Evil 2 begins almost exactly after the original film finished, as the corpses of mass murderer Jacob Goodnight’s victims, along with his own, are being delivered to the local morgue. Our lead is Amy (Danielle Harris), a coroner who’s about to leave for her birthday party when the large arrival occurs. She opts to stay and help her co-workers so her friends decide to bring the party to her. Yep, a night party in a morgue surrounded by a load of fresh corpses, can’t imagine anything going wrong there.
The film takes a while to really get going; there are a few soapy scenes informing us that Amy’s co-worker has a thing for her, and that her brother’s over-protective and so-on. They’re all basically stock characters with one exception; American Mary star Katherine Isabelle. She gets a chance to show her range here playing a totally different type of character, a wild party girl with a disturbing fascination for serial killers. She seduces one party guest into sneaking to the corpse room so she can see the killer’s body. Then, it what’s probably the film’s most memorable scene, she mounts the hulking carcass and starts seductively writhing on it. It’s a striking moment not just for the sheer weirdness of the imagery on display, but also for how it amusingly captures the uncomfortable situations some guys will be willing to put themselves through if they think they’re going to get some.
From then on the film picks up the pace but also reveals itself to be essentially a very generic slasher movie. Goodnight (pro wrestler Glenn ‘Kane’ Jacobs) somehow is revived and sets about picking off the group one-by-one. The Soskas handle the kills effectively with a few amusing moments but there’s no substance here. With one massive exception wrestlers don’t have a great track record on film but Jacobs isn’t required to do much except be a hulking, menacing presence. We get a couple of flashbacks to his abusive childhood but they’re extremely brief. There’s no real motivation here, he just decides to kill everyone rather than escaping.
There is a little twist to the slasher formula that comes late in the story providing one mild surprise, and some subversion in the atypical way the Soskas film sex scenes, but while a competent horror film, in general it lacks a recognizable style. I don’t know whether they did this film for the paycheck or to get their names further out there or maybe both. It’s certainly better than average as straight-to-DVD horror sequels go but there’s barely a spark of the inventiveness the sisters bought to American Mary. I just hope it can act as a springboard for them to tackle another original project of their own now.