SOSKA TWINS, KANE TEAM
UP FOR ANOTHER JACOB GOODNIGHT KILLFEST IN “SEE NO
By Vernor Rodgers
These are exciting times
for horror fans. There is so much talent out there,
and with conventions and film festivals, these people
are getting opportunities to show their projects while
social media help us horror aficionados connect with
kindred spirits and learn about these great new
feature-length movies and shorts. Ah, the joys of
discovering there are a lot of us who like our movies
scary, gory, mind-boggling and disturbing.
Thanks to Screamfest Horror
Film Festival held at the TLC Chinese Theatre in
Hollywood in October,, “See No Evil 2,” the latest
directorial effort from Jen and Sylvia Soska, was
given a big-screen presentation in the days before its
release on VOD, iTunes and DVD/Blu Ray.
That “See No Evil 2″ was not
given a theatrical release was distressing to those of
us who viewed the Soska twins’ “American Mary” and
were eager to see their next venture. So, it was a
treat having a screening in a nice big theater in
front of viewers who love their horror good and
“See No Evil 2,” as the title
reveals, is a sequel, and as such is bound by the
restrictions of such follow-up films. It does not
bring anything much of anything new to the table. With
Glenn “Kane” Jacobs reprising his role as the vicious
psychopath Jacob Goodnight, we know what is going to
happen. Jacob is going to slaughter some people — just
who and how are the mysteries.
“We wanted (“see No Evil 2”) to
be a very self-aware 1980s slasher homage,” said Jen
Soska during a panel after the screening at
Screamfest. “It’s very close to ‘Halloween 2’ – we
pick up (the story) right the night after the end of
‘See No Evil.’ ”
The Soskas, whose jaw-dropping
“American Mary” in 2012 served notice that these two
ladies have enormous talent, received some financial
muscle via WWE Studios when given the assignment of
“See No Evil 2.” The Soskas were able to make
“American Mary” look like a movie with major financial
backing while working with a small budget. Now given
expanded resources, they have put together a film in
“See No Evil 2″ that takes a predictable story line
and molds it into a beautifully choreographed and
photographed piece of horror mastery.
The script by Nathan Brookes
and Bobby Lee Darby picks the story up where the
original “See No Evil” left off, in the aftermath of
Jacob’s killing spree and his own supposed death.
Jacob’s body, along with those of his victims, are
deposited in the morgue while only three staffers are
present — the minimal graveyard shift. The staffers
include Amy (Danielle Harris), Seth (Kaj-Erik Eriksen)
and the wheel-chair bound Holden (Michael Eklund).
It’s Amy’s birthday and although her shift is about to
end, she volunteers to stay and help Seth deal with
the incoming bodies, canceling post-work celebration
Thus, some of Amy’s friends,
and her brother, pay a surprise visit to the morgue
for a late-night impromptu party. The arrivals are
Tamara (Katharine Isabelle from “American Mary”), her
boyfriend Carter (Lee Majdoub), Amy’s brother Will
(Greyston Holt) and Kayla (Chelan Simmons), who has
designs on Will.
The character development is
effective in that while these people may be flawed,
they also have good traits, and none deserve to die.
Isabelle’s Tamara is the weirdest of the bunch, and
her portrayal is a real departure from her turn as
Mary Mason in “American Mary.” She is creepy but funny
and her party-time proclivities lead to what is likely
to be one of the most talked about scenes in “See No
Evil 2,” some antics that are darkly humorous and have
the viewer on edge in anticipation.
Majdoub had the screening
audience laughing as he recalled shooting that scene.
“Acting opposite of Katharine, I had to stay on my
toes,” he said. Isabelle was so into the scene that
she was “hammering away” at him, resulting in some
real physical punishment. Jacobs, who was also in the
scene, was “laughing his ass off after the scene was
shot,” Majdoub said.
Jacob, with his right eye poked
out, is first seen laying on a slab, seemingly cold
meat. When he suddenly disappears from the slab, it’s
party over. Time for terror.
The Soskas love horror movies,
and this is evident in the atmosphere, tone and style
of they set in “See No Evil 2.” They have taken the
morgue, the venue for this kill-fest, and turned it
into an unwitting accomplice to Jacob, with its deadly
maze of corridors, locked doors, stairwells, elevators
that are never available at the right time and windows
too small to let in the bright, living world. And the
Soskas, bless their hearts, opted for steadier camera
work instead of the jerky motions of handhelds that
can mar otherwise splendidly heart-pounding action
The Soskas dialed back a bit on
the graphic gore, but that does not diminish Jacob’s
ferocity. The horrifying killer almost seems at home
in the morgue. He also knows his way around the
facility better than the employees.
During the post-screening
panel, Jacobs said he was shocked when he heard there
was going to be a sequel to “See No Evil” with eight
years separating the two films. “How the hell are they
going to do that?” he said.
Jacobs added that when he heard
the Soskas were going to direct, he did some research
on them, which led him to seeing “American Mary.”
“Wow, that’s really, really,
really, really good,” he said of “American Mary,” and
he was confident “See No Evil 2” would be in good
The cast, led by Harris as Amy,
the most level-headed of the group amid the bloodbath,
does a credible job of infusing life into the
characters before they segue into the next stage of
the movie, trying to avoid being killed. Jacobs is a
formidable physical presence, a man whose massive
silhouette against a lighted backdrop can induce
chills in even the most hard core horror fan.
“See No Evil 2″ is a solid
effort, 90 minutes of what one expects from the crazed
killer theme. It has a few surprises in it despite the
standard blueprint. It’s a safe bet that upon future
viewings, things will be spotted in the movie that
were not noticed before.