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See No Evil

Call me ignorant if you want, but I really thought it was a joke. When World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) got into the movie business I really thought it was just their silly little way of tapping into some of the money beginning flow from Dwayne Johnson’s burgeoning big screen career. After all, they had given him his start in the wrestling world as the wildly popular character/wrestler “The Rock”. I figured for sure the WWE would take co-production credit on a couple of Dwayne’s early projects like The Rundown, cash their check, and then simply go back to the world of Pay-Per-View. Who knew they would actually try to create an entire genre of films using their wrestlers as stars? This time Vincent McMahon may actually have gone crazy.

The first of WWE’s solo film projects, See No Evil stars wrestler Kane as Jacob Goodnight, a mysterious, meat hook swinging murderer. In an absurdly convenient plot that would make even the most forgiving horror fan wince, a bus load of juvenile delinquents participating in a trial run co-ed, overnight service project arrive at the front of a dilapidated, burned out hotel. Their job is to help prepare the place for renovation as a historic monument. Locked in for the weekend with minimal supervision, the kids proceed to shirk their service project and focus on servicing themselves, either by finding secluded bedrooms to pair off in or hunting down a secret treasure (a treasure, I might add, which is so secret that the map to finding it was apparently downloaded from the internet). As the oblivious youths carelessly wander around the decayed premises, Jacob stalks them, picking them off one by one.

Stalking may be too broad a term. It would be more accurate to say he’s lumbering with intent to hook. Jacob’s MO is a meat hook on the end of a chain which he expertly tosses about to grab his victim and haul them off kicking and screaming. If he’d had a fierce battle cry the movie would have been in danger of a copyright infringement lawsuit with the makers of Mortal Kombat. Jacob’s victims die in different ways, but each suffers the same disfiguring fate: having their eyeballs plucked out. Like a monkey grooming bugs from its mate’s hair, Jacob gently snatches each perfect peeper with expert precision. These he collects in little jars for a reason so silly it’s kept a secret until the very end when its revelation serves as the movie’s underwhelming, lackluster finale.

With all the teenage horniness, screaming and blunt force trauma, the movie feels like the unwanted, illegitimate child of Monday Night RAW and Jeepers Creepers. That shouldn’t be surprising since the script is a first time feature effort from a writer on WWE SmackDown. The plot and dialogue are the worst offenders in the film, with the ridiculously conceived gore taking a close second. I miss the days when a horror film kept you on the edge of your seat by not letting you see what terrifying things were taking place. Not only does See No Evil leave nothing to your imagination, it would seem the director forgot to use his at all. Gregory Dark, whose past work list IMDB consists mainly of adult films with the occasional Britney Spears video, has set the bar as WWE’s first feature film director. It’s so low even Uwe Boll would have a hard time limbo-ing his way under it.

The acting for the film is horrendous, but seems appropriate if the target audience consists of WWE regulars. I mean no offense to you wrestling fans; there’s definitely a place in the world for this kind of awful overacting, but it’s usually relegated to WrestleMania and porn. To see it permeating a wide release feature film is a whole other ball game. At one point, just before Kane’s character decides it would be a good time to start pleasuring himself as he stares at one of his teenage female captives, the girl looks him in the eye and says “why don’t you just kill me.” I was grateful to finally feel a connection with one of the characters.

Once in a blue moon you get a wrestling star with enough actual charisma and talent to make a career for himself outside the ring. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson may have been able to start down that road (he’s still got a long way to go), but for the WWE to think that everyone else in their little galaxy would make good anchors for feature films is the mother of all delusions in grandeur. See No Evil is the kind of film only a wrestling fan could say they love, and even then I’m pretty sure they’d be lying out of pure loyalty to the McMahon empire. The honest answer is, this movie stinks and if it’s any indication of what we can expect from future WWE Film productions then bad movie making has a new poster child in McMahon.