In previous years, the surprise movies at the /slash Filmfestival really were surprises. They may have dropped some hints here and there, and last year I actually managed to guess it correctly, but overall, you didn’t really have an idea what you would be getting. This year, however, they decided to give hints in form of a riddle; if you solve it correctly, you have a chance to win tickets for the screening. I like riddles, so even though as /slash pass-holder I got tickets for all screenings anyway, I decided to have a look and see if I’d be able to guess them. I’m now 99% sure that I know the Surprise Movie Y, and I also have a suspicion when it comes to Surprise Movie X. Something within this riddle (which unfortunately is not online anymore) made me think that it could allude to “See No Evil 2”. I could be totally wrong, of course, but given the fact that I don’t like watching sequels when I haven’t seen the first one yet, I decided to watch “See No Evil” just in case I’m actually right.
When it comes to slasher flicks, I tend to prefer those that put you on the side of the potential victims, compared to those that seem to want you to cheer for the killer. Unfortunately, “See No Evil” mostly failed in that regard. It features inmates, and right at the beginning they’re telling you their offenses; for me it seemed like the movie tried to tell us why they’re all bad and thus deserve their likely fate (“they had it coming”). The following 15 minutes did little to make me sympathize with the characters. Another problem is that there are just too damn many of them. I kinda get why they did it – the more people you got, the more deaths you can include – but it really hurt the movie because when the killing started I didn’t have the feeling that I knew any of them. Thus, the rest of the movie was a rather cynical affair for me, watching one murder after another, without really caring about anyone or anything that happens onscreen.
I’ll give them that, though: While the short introduction prevents us from really getting to know the characters, at least the movie gets going rather quickly, and doesn’t let us suffer through half an hour of pointless, dull dialogue. The killing starts pretty quickly, and is pleasantly brutal. Kudos also for making it rather unpredictable (at least for me) who’s going to live and who’s going to die, and in which order. I also think that they did a good job creating a memorable killer. Yes, he’s no Crowley (to name another recent slasher-slayer), but with his stature, his taciturnity, his hook on his chain, his dimwittedness and his proclivity for pulling his victim’s eyes out, he’s decent enough (if that’s the right word to describe a crazy, vicious serial killer). Also, with just a little over 80 minutes, the movie is short enough to never really get dull. Unfortunately, it didn’t really manage to engage me either. If the sequel really should be the surprise movie, I hope that it will improve on the first one – even though that rarely happens, especially when it comes to horror/slasher-movies.