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See No Evil 2 (Review)

 

"For fans like me, it's only cemented my belief in their talent, and with See No Evil 2 being only their third ever feature, it's clear the ladies are here to stay."

 

 

by Nav Qateel

In the third feature from the twins of terror, Sylvia and Jen Soska, comes part 2 of the 2006 slasher See No Evil. Glenn Jacobs returns as the unstoppable, unkillable, unanythingable, Jacob Goodnight AKA Kane, who awakens in a mortuary to find himself surrounded by a large assortment of sharp tools designed specifically for dismembering bodies. In his reanimated element, Kane sets about putting some of those tools to good use, by attempting to butcher an unfortunate group of people who've turned up at the mortuary to throw a surprise birthday party.

This is the first feature directed by the twins that they haven't had a hand in writing, and after the excellent job the horror-helmers performed on the Katharine Isabelle starrer American Mary, like most Soska fans, I was keen to see how they would handle it. I'm happy to report the directors have taken a rather run-of-the-mill slasher script, and added their own touch of style, thereby elevating the material considerably.

See No Evil 2
Directed by Sylvia Soska & Jen Soska
Cast Danielle Harris, Katharine Isabelle, Kaj-Erik Eriksen, Glenn Jacobs
Release Date 21 October 2014
Nav's Grade: B

Having a strong cast didn't hurt either, which included a show-stealing Katharine Isabelle, Danielle Harris, a wheelchair-bound Michael Eklund, Glenn Jacobs, Chelan Simmons, Greyston Holt, Lee Majdoub and Kaj-Erik Eriksen.

The directors managed to give those of us who haven't seen the first incarnation of See No Evil a glimpse into Kane's horrific childhood, where his religiously twisted mother basically turned him into the monster we now see. This added an extra dimension to Kane, in what would otherwise have made him just one more mindless slasher-movie-killer.

The rest of the cast did have a bit of a backstory, albeit a tad perfunctory. Like Amy (Danielle Harris), who dropped out of med school to work with the dead in a morgue. Seth (Kaj-Erik Eriksen) has a major crush on Amy, but Amy's big brother Will (Greyston Holt) doesn't approve and hates that his talented sister dropped out of med school in the first place. And lets not forget Kayla (Chelan Simmons) who has the hots for Will. Sadly, the terrific Michael Eklund was wasted in his role as Holden, but being the pro that he is, Eklund did the best with what he had to work with, which was admittedly very little. Although, he was part of a clever little horror scene created by Jen and Sylvia that I won't divulge here.

The Soska's appear to work extremely well with Katharine Isabelle and her standout performance here really showed a side to the actress rarely witnessed. I'm a huge fan of the TV show Hannibal, where in season 2, Isabelle gave a brilliantly nuanced performance as Margot Verger, and while I'm not comparing one with the other, it does highlight just how versatile and talented the prolific actress actually is. Here, Isabelle's crazy character Tamara brings a level of sick and twisted humor to the proceedings by first climbing on top of Kane's body and kissing it, but then insists she and boyfriend Carter (Lee Majdoub) do the nasty next to Kane's corpse. A sight not quickly forgotten.

Put scream queen Danielle Harris in any horror and you always know you'll get a solid bit of acting, and that's exactly what we got from the famed horror actress. The rest of the cast were put through their paces by the directors and each handled their parts convincingly and with the right amount of conviction. The fact the acting was consistently even and strong is proof enough that Jen and Silvia Soska know their stuff when it comes to helming a film. Unlike in American Mary, the directors' cameo here was short and sweet, with us catching a brief glimpse of the twins playing matching corpses who had autopsy 'Y' incisions on their dead bods.

I understand a lot of people object to directors doing cameos in their own movies but I think it's a good thing. Stephen King tries to appear in every film that's made from his books and his acting skills aren't exactly legendary. From Alfred Hitchcock to Spike Lee playing the fictional "Shorty" in Malcolm X, directors have been doing it for many years so I object to the criticism Jen and Sylvia get for doing the same. Here's a list from Wikipedia of all the directors who've cameoed in their own movies Wikipedia List

Although See No Evil 2 is rated '15,' I was happy with the kills by the hulking Kane, and I'm sure those of you who like to see blood flowing freely will be satiated enough by the amount we're given here. The murders were mostly standard affairs but not all of them, and at least they were realistic looking, which to me is far more important than just having a high body count.

Considering the Soska's were working from someone elses script for the first time, they proved their chops convincingly, and silenced any critics who thought the directors were less than capable of pulling it off. For fans like me, it's only cemented my belief in their talent, and with See No Evil 2 being only their third ever feature, it's clear the ladies are here to stay. See No Evil 2 is a must see for fans of horror and especially for fans of the twins.

Interestingly, Jen and Sylvia have just finished shooting an action flick titled Vendetta, penned by first-time writer Justin Shady, and featuring Dean Cain and Michael Eklund, making this the second film not written by the Soska's. It's also their first foray into the action genre, and I'm extremely keen on seeing how they handle things. The closest I've seen to action from the Soska's was a 3-minute short they wrote and directed quite recently titled Fight Like a Girl that you can see here, and is well worth watching, especially for fans.

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