2006 *** 1/2
This movie is exactly what you get when the market sensibility that's brought us a Saw movie for five consecutive years decides to make a one-off slasher. In its way, See No Evil is a complete boilerplate -- but with just enough originality and just enough style that afterwards, people who see it will go "huh...that was pretty good."
A co-ed group of eight good-looking incarcerated petty criminals get a furlough job cleaning up a decades-empty hotel, not knowing that a humongous serial killer has been holed up in there for years. And ka-bang, there's your plot. The formula is kind of brilliant.
The setting is a rotting, boarded up hotel, so it's fashionably squalid and pretty cheap to shoot, since the whole movie takes place in there. The top two floors are burned out, which adds a bit of spice.
The victim pool is an easily presented cookie-cutter cast: the nerd, the black guy, the hippie chick, the bimbo, etc. All fairly likable and believable as much as it matters.
The killer is played by the wrestler Kane, and instead of even trying to make him act they just play up what he's got, and what he's got is size. This guy with an axe is like one of those warrior bugs from Starship Troopers. There are a few times when, in order to get still-struggling victims to stop moving, he just slams them bodily against nearby walls like you'd knock out a fish. One victim goes down that way, just pounded all over the insides of an elevator. And his shtick is eyes. Pulls 'em out with his fingers, puts 'em in jars.
It goes pretty well. There are a few notable deaths, particularly the one... how to say this without spoiling anything... okay, "fire hose." It's fast-paced, and it kept me awake after Lost Boys 2 and Chupacabra, which is saying something. The best way I can sum up this movie is to repeat something I said when describing an adequate Thai food place in Berkeley:
I checked off all the boxes, but I didn't say anything in the "comments" section.
(Okay, the fire hose scene is worth a comment. So nasty.)