THE SOSKA SISTERS MAKE A SUPERIOR SEQUEL WITH SEE NO EVIL 2

SEE NO EVIL 2-United States-90 Mins. 2014

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Glenn 'Kane' Jacobs as Jacob Goodnight in See No Evil 2

Glenn ‘Kane’ Jacobs as Jacob Goodnight in See No Evil 2

Danielle Harris as Amy in See No Evil 2

Danielle Harris as Amy in See No Evil 2

Katharine Isabelle as Tamara in See No Evil 2

Katharine Isabelle as Tamara in See No Evil 2

Directed by Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska

Written by Nathan Brookes and Bobby Lee Darby

Let’s face it-when we see the WWE Studios logo appear at the beginning of a horror film (or perhaps any existing film genre for that matter) it doesn’t necessarily inspire confidence that what we are about to see will be any good. The original See No Evil had the distinction of having been directed by a former porn director, Gregory Dark. Then there was the post-apocalyptic thriller The Day which received mixed reviews at best. The haunted mirror flick Oculus took WWE Studios one step forward in the credibility department and the rancid Leprechaun: Origins negated that by taking WWE Studios two steps backward.

This brings us to See No Evil 2. Directed by the super-talented twins Jen and Sylvia Soska the film may indeed be what turns WWE Studios into a credible and reputable production company. Before you begin to think that the cheese has slid off my cracker I ask that you please allow me to tell you why I believe this to be so. I believe it to be so because the Soska Sisters take a (somewhat) traditional approach to the slasher film genre to bring us a sequel that is in every way the superior film to the original. They put a group of partying,drinking, horny young people in a single setting where they are picked off one by one by a remorseless, indestructible killer that sees their fun as sin that must be punished.

See No Evil 2 begins immediately after the events of See No Evil. Morgue attendants Seth, Amy and Holden receive the victim’s bodies from the first film as well as the body of mass murderer Jacob Goodnight after he flatlines and is pronounced dead in the ambulance. If there were only three victims then See No Evil 2 would either end quickly or move at an agonizingly slow pace for its 90 minute run time. However, it’s Amy’s (Danielle Harris) birthday and when she cancels going out to drink with her friends and brother to help her co-workers with the bodies of the victims and with Goodnight himself her friends and brother crash the morgue and bring the party to her. Soon after a resurrected Jacob Goodnight is ready to slice, dice and kill his way through the entire lot of them. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

I have to give credit to whoever decided to cast Glenn ‘Kane’ Jacobs as a sadistic serial killer/mass murderer. Of the lot of WWE Superstars who have been cast in films-including John Cena, Randy Orton and Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin-Jacobs is the only one that seems comfortable with the role he is playing. Danielle Harris is her usual reliable self as well and it’s easy to see why she is such an immense favorite amongst horror and slasher movie fans.

I do have one complaint and it is a very minor one. After seeing Katharine Isabelle as such a strong character in the Soska’s American Mary it is a shame to see her as such a complete bimbo in See No Evil 2. Then again I protest too much as I enjoy Miss Isabelle in practically anything I see her in.

With the exception of their entry ‘T is for Torture Porn in The ABC’s of Death 2 I have seen every one of the Soska sister’s feature films. Dead Hooker in a Trunk was a promising start. American Mary was a disturbing masterwork and now See No Evil 2 is a welcome addition to the slasher genre. Their next film is called Vendetta and I for one can’t wait to see it.

TRIVIA

During the opening credits when it says “Directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska” The corpses are that of both directors.

Jacob Goodnight is referred to as the “God’s Hand Killer”. This is the same nickname given to the killer in the movie Frailty.

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Glenn Jacobs also appears in See No Evil and MacGruber.

Danielle Harris also appears in Stakeland and Hatchet III.

Katharine Isabelle also appears in American Mary and Torment.

OCULUS IS MORE CREEPY FUN FROM MIKE FLANAGAN

OCULUS-United States-104 Mins. 2013

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Karen Gillan as Kaylie Russell in Oculus

Karen Gillan as Kaylie Russell in Oculus

Brenton Thwaites as Tim Russell in Oculus

Brenton Thwaites as Tim Russell in Oculus

Katee Sackhoff as Marie Russell in Oculus

Katee Sackhoff as Marie Russell in Oculus

Rory Cochrane (C) as Alan Russell in Oculus

Rory Cochrane (C) as Alan Russell in Oculus

Annalise Basso as young Kaylie Russell and Garrett Ryan as young Tim Russell in Oculus

Annalise Basso as young Kaylie Russell and Garrett Ryan as young Tim Russell in Oculus

Directed by Mike Flanagan

Screenplay by Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard and based on their short screenplay

I’m not sure if any of you are aware of this but sometimes, with certain movies, I have difficulty explaining the plot. I have trouble describing a lot of things sometimes. I’m not dumb; it’s whenever I like something I get excited about it and it’s hard to get the words to come out. My wife always tells me to explain it to her as she, being my wife, is an unbiased listener. So for this post I am making all of you who are reading it into my surrogate wife so I can tell you about the movie, Oculus, and why I liked it, which was a lot.

Put simply, Oculus is about a haunted mirror. Well, not so much a haunted mirror but more like an evil mirror. It destroys people. It uses them up and spits them out. It makes them see things that aren’t real and twists the things that are real around until they just don’t know what’s up anymore.

Anyway, after her brother is let out of the mental hospital, Kaylie enlists his help to prove to the world that the mirror is not only responsible for the deaths of their mother and father, but 43 other people in the four centuries of its existence. Setting up video cameras and computers to record events and keep check on the temperature in the room, Kaylie also sets timers to remind herself and Tim, her brother, to eat and drink every so often as the mirror distorts that part of a person’s reality. There’s another alarm and if you’ve seen the movie then you know what it is; if not I’m not going to tell you because I don’t want to give anything away.

Oculus works a parallel line between two time periods set eleven years apart. The first is the present as Kaylie and Tim attempt to understand the evil behind the mirror in an attempt to destroy it. The earlier timeline is 2002 and shows us how the mirror destroyed the lives of Kaylie and Tim’s parents. I must admit that for a while I found myself confused as it seemed that the two time periods merged at certain moments of the film. This is not a mistake by any means on the part of the filmmakers but merely a lack of my understanding of it.

Oculus is directed by Mike Flanagan. Before Oculus he directed a small film called Absentia that I found to be quiet and creepy as hell. Witnessing Absentia I knew that this man had a talent for the horror genre and wanted to see if he could live up to the promises of that film. With Oculus I can safely tell you that yes; Flanagan does live up to that promise. Oculus may not be as quiet as Absentia but it’s still a creepy son-of-a-bitch. Another thing is that it’s produced by WWE Entertainment. Producing Oculus and the fact that they’ve recruited Jen and Sylvia Soska, the twin directors behind the excellent American Mary to helm See No Evil 2 may be a sign that they’re on the right track.

That wasn’t so bad, was it; being my surrogate wife for a few minutes? You’re now free to go about your business but before you do I just have one more favor to ask of you:

Could one of ya’ll please get me a beer while you’re up?

Please?

TRIVIA

Filmed in October 2012, first shown at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2013, but not given a proper release until April 2014.

The titular “evil mirror” in Oculus was “first documented belonging to the Levesque family”, aka Triple H! It’s the same mirror he broke on Wrestlemania 25, same mirror that Undertaker used on Orton, and the one that Bray used on Cena.

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Karen Gillan also appears in Guardians of the Galaxy and Not Another Happy Ending.

Brenton Thwaites also appears in Maleficent and The Giver.

Katee Sackhoff also appears in Riddick and The Haunting in Connecticut 2: The Ghosts of Georgia.

Rory Cochrane also appears in Argo and Dazed and Confused.

Annalisa Basso also appears in Bedtime Stories and Standing Up.

Garrett Ryan also appears in Insidious: Chapter 2 and Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.

One of Those Days

One of Those Days

Do you ever have one of those days where you just don’t know what you want to say about anything? I have. I’m having one now. I start to write a sentence only to delete it a few seconds later. Maybe I want it to be just right or maybe I want to seem to have a little idea of what the hell I’m talking about.

So far today I have begun to write about how I feel that the WWE has killed the art of true professional wrestling. I just couldn’t find the words to say that guys like John Cena, Randy Orton and women like Kelly Kelly and the Bella Twins are nothing more than beefcake and eye candy. Today’s average wrestling fan wouldn’t know a figure-four leg-lock from a figure eight. The ‘wrestlers’ today are cartoon characters come to life in order to sell merchandise. Andre the Giant didn’t need an action figure. Wahoo McDaniel didn’t need a catch phrase. I can see you, John Cena, I just don’t want to. I smell what the Rock is cooking’ and it smells like shit.

If only this were true.

I was also going to write about how I feel that pornography takes the passion out of a relationship. I’m not going to lie, I have looked at pornography. Who hasn’t at one time or another? I know that there are people who say that watching porn helps them with their love life. I tend to disagree. How can you be passionate with your wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend when you’ve got Jenna Jameson being screwed a million ways to Sunday running through your mind? That’s not passion for your spouse; that’s lust for something you’re never going to have.

Never gonna have her, guys.

Oh and I was also going to write about how a lot of kids today are rude little bastards. I can not tell you how many times I have been in Wal-mart late at night and nearly had my foot amputated by some impolite stock boy with a pallet jack. Do they say ‘excuse me’? Hell, no. I feel like getting some fake toes that squirt blood and whenever one of them flies by me tossing the toes out and screaming bloody murder with my bloody toes lying on the floor. It’s not just the stock boys, its kids in general. But do you blame the kids? I don’t. I blame the parents. If you are a parent and you have taught your kids manners, then my hat is off to you. That means I’m not talking about your kid. However, if you are the parent of that little mutation that nearly severed my foot without a word of ‘excuses me’ then I think you need to grab the little bugger by the hair and teach him some manners. Who knows, you might learn some yourself.

“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”-Abraham Lincoln. Wow, I was thinking the same thing about Kim Kardashian. She decides to put her two cents in about the Casey Anthony trial. She tweeted “What crazy testimony today! Casey’s mom says one thing & her son says the opposite! Someone is lying here!” Hey Kim, they’re remaking Plan Nine from Outer Space and they need someone to say “But one thing’s sure. Inspector Clay is dead, murdered, and somebody’s responsible.” Think you’re up for it?

Kim!! Shh!! Don’t speak, Ever, Again.

Yep, I just can’t think of anything to say.