SEE NO EVIL 2
Director: Jen & Sylvia Soska
Year of release: 2014
Country of origin: USA
Running time: 86-90 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: Both
Tagline: "You will pay for your sins".
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: Picking up pretty much straight after the conclusion of the original the story here follows the apparent corpse of Jacob Goodnight as it is transported to the local morgue. As the body arrives it is nighttime and we find that three people are working the graveyard shift, two males (one wheelchair bound) and a female. It is the females birthday and she is supposed to be leaving to go out with friends but as the morgue is so busy that night filling up with Jacob's victims from the original she decides to stay to help out. This prompts her brother and several friends to bring the party to her at the morgue. As you can imagine however Jacob is not quite as down and out as he first appears and it isn't long before he revives himself and begins running amok throughout the morgue during the impromptu birthday celebration.
Good points: I liked the setting of the morgue as it reminded me very much of such films as Halloween 2, X-Ray and the early parts of Friday the 13th the final chapter. I wasn't too clear on whether or not it was supposed to just be a morgue and nothing more or a hospital as well. We didn't see any other staff or patients which we presumably would if it was a hospital so perhaps it was supposed to be just a storage and autopsy facility for the dead. That said as things progress someone makes a point of not having keys to the upper levels which indicates perhaps there is a hospital in the building somewhere because if the whole thing were a morgue you would think the morgue staff would have access to everything. So a bit confusing in that regard but never the less the setting is effective and scores highly for being creepy and claustrophobic.
As is probably the case for most of us slasher fans I like Danielle Harris so it is nice to see her in a prominent role and she did a good job as Amy. I also enjoyed watching her co workers Seth and Holden though I felt as if they could have better utilised Holden's wheelchair. In fact I think he had potential and was killed off to quickly but it is better to be presented with a character you would want to see more of than an annoying one you can't wait to get killed. I guess Tamara fitted that annoying mold to an extent but I did feel she was kind of interesting so if anything she was a positive for me too.
The kills in general are nothing to get excited about but there were two that I really liked which were the deaths for Tamara and Drew. Drew's in particular I thought was very well done with him being used as a sort of bait to lure the others to where Jacob wanted them to be.
There was a bit of a twist towards the end of this one that I really didn't see coming. It was pretty simple so nothing too grand or mind bending that cast the early parts of the story in a new light or anything but it did take the film into darker territory than I was expecting. I'll class it as a positive as it does mean it has the bravery to go down a less traveled path than many similar films.
Bad Points: Jacob looses his identity in this sequel quite a lot which works against his character, a character I wasn't all that enthused with in the original truth be told. His signature back then was ripping out peoples eyes but that is done away with here for no apparent reason and he also has a weird almost transparent mask that doesn't look very good. Normally I like masks so you would think I would be in favor of this change but as it was so flimsy and almost see through so they might as well not have bothered. We also didn't get any fresh insights into his past with the little bits we did see of a younger Jacob just being recycled footage from the first film.
Other than the two kills that I picked out earlier the deaths are all rather forgettable with very little in the way of blood and gore to go along with them. Surprising really seeing that this area was one of the original films strong suits.
It is very unclear if Jacob is supposed to be a fully fledged supernatural figure this time out and if he is then why he possesses such powers. This was the case with the first film as well to a lesser extent as although he was mainly presented back then as a regular man he did have flies and maggots coming out of his head at one point. Here though he would have to be supernatural to survive the damage done in the last film and to reanimate but it is never elaborated on. What they should have done is to include more revelations about Jacobs childhood and time as a younger man that could have gone some way to explaining his current state and how he can sustain so much damage but we didn't get anything like this which came across as lazy.
It is unrealistic how Jacob always seems to be one step ahead of his victims. In the first film it was okay as the characters were on his territory so he knew the layout and such better than they did but here it is the staff that would have that advantage so it didn't make sense how he could keep popping up at just the right moments. I suppose it ties in with the point above and he was able to do so due to his supernatural advantages but if going down that route they should have justified it with an explanation as to where these supernatural aspects originated from.
Verdict: Though entertaining in places I have to say See No Evil 2 was quite a disappointment and definitely not on the same level as the original. They tinkered with Jacob too much for my liking and made a mistake in cutting back on the gore. Having said that it isn't all bad and the ending in particular is refreshing but ultimately this one has the feel of a missed opportunity.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1) Carter: Knocked down in a struggle with Jacob. Body later found on morgue slab so killed off camera.
2) Holden: Pulled from wheelchair by a hook to the leg. Is later discovered on the floor by the others but dies from a chest/throat wound.
3) Kayla: Strangled in the toilets.
4) Tamara: Throat slashed with saw like weapon.
5) Will: Wounded in fight with Jacob and then sawed from underneath with a power/surgical tool of some kind while lying on a gurney.
6) Amy: Stabbed in the chest when opening a door.
7) Seth: Attacked from behind near the films end. I don't think we actually saw him die so maybe he shouldn't be counted here but it is safe to assume he was on the verge of being killed.