SEE NO EVIL 2
The original See No Evil (2006) was a routine slasher film, driven by the sole novelty of hulking WWE wrestler Glenn Jacobs, appearing under his stage name of Kane, who played the brutish psycho of the show. See No Evil was passable but there was nothing about it that stood out from the slasher genres cliches. The film did okay video business but hardly seemed the sort of hit that you would expect to be spawning sequels, least of all a series where astute and genre-savvy directors like the Soska Sisters would be lining up to deliver the next entry.
You sort of feel that in taking on a franchise slasher film moreover, in making a follow-up to such an average original that the Soska Sisters are choosing to bat well below their capabilities. Indeed, after the perverse and original territory that American Mary entered into, See No Evil 2 feels like a step backwards. The other option worth considering could well be that their sensibilities might bring amazing things that would elevate the slasher genre in sensational ways. So I decided to go with and see what they had to offer. The surprise, I suppose, is that See No Evil 2 follows such traditional genre patterns the teens partying (an improbable set-up that requires them to hold a party in a morgue during working hours), their hijinks causing the killer to rise, his progressive elimination through their numbers. In the script department, there seems little here that has changed since the inception of the slasher film formula circa 1982.
The Sisters bring a certain degree of genre-reflexive humour. The characters actually behave in common sense ways suggesting they dont split up or lines I dont want to charge out there while there is a mass murderer running around, and If we took the stairs, wed be out of here in ten minutes. The film needed more of this. In fact, you feel as though it should have gone further the film stays with the familiar and never approaches anything that bitingly deconstructs or spoofs the cliches of the genre in the way that say Scream (1996) or Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006) did. Equally, you expected the twins to do something astonishingly way out with the slasher element but the slashing sequences are all true to form the one standout sequence is a shot where Katharine Isabelle has her throat slashed in slow-motion.
What the Soska Sisters bring over and above the first See No Evil is a far superior cast as opposed to the anonymous teen faces that filled out the first film. Indeed, these are actors that are usually far more used to appearing in mainstream material than B-budget filler. There is Canadian actor Michael Eklund who has suddenly been appearing in everything there is mostly in villainous and psychopathic roles in the last couple of years. The show-stealer is Katharine Isabelle, the mainstay from American Mary, who gives an outrageous performance shes sort of a connoisseur of psychopathic behaviour it is said of her capped by a scene where she gets to bump and grind on top of the killers corpse on a morgue slab. Danielle Harris has become a genre fixture ever since appearing as Jamie-Lee Curtiss daughter in Halloween IV: The Curse of Michael Myers (1988) and Halloween 5 (1989), while as an grown-up has played regular roles in Rob Zombies Halloween (2007) and Halloween II (2009) and became the lead in Hatchet II (2010) and Hatchet III (2013), along with appearing in a host of other horror films. By now, she has the slasher heroine role down pat and is very well paired with Kaj-Erik Eriksen (who only a couple of years ago it seems was a child actor) in a relationship that gives the film a surprisingly sweet uplift during the final scenes. Kane, now also billing himself by his given name Glenn Jacobs, gives a performance that is even more brutish and modelled on Jason Voorhees than before.