See No Evil (1971)
Starring: Mia Farrow, Dorothy Alison, Robin Bailey
Director: Richard Fleischer
Synopsis: Influenced by the moral decay all around him a Murderous Psycho targets a helpless blind girl in this poor man’s Wait Until Darkesque thriller written by Brian Clemens.
See No Evil is a Rather old fashioned and dated, this early 70’s psycho thriller features a faceless time-bomb walking around being negatively influenced by all the sex and violence around him……just waiting to explode. Fresh off simpering, cowering and squealing to great effect in Rosemary’s Baby; poor Mia Farrow is set for another round of anxiety and trauma…and this time she can’t even see her protagonist. Poor Mia is a blind damsel in distress, all alone in a large mansion with nobody but a crazed psycho for company. A psycho who has obviously been heavily influenced by the burgeoning immorality that surrounds him and is now looking for an outlet for venting his pent-up frustration.
In the very opening shot we see a cinema audience exit a screening of Convent Murders and Rapist Cult while a person in distinctive leather boots walks the High Street looking at the windows of the shops he passes. There’s a toy shop displaying children’s Automatic guns, tanks, action men and various rifles and few steps further a Newsagent has magazines depicting war and violence and semi naked women as well as Newspapers with lurid headlines as “Massacre of the Children” and “Machine guns blaze in Jail Riot Battle”.
A few further steps and a shop with TV’s within are all showing a film with a psychotic maniac attacking a defenceless woman with a dagger. Moments later, his head already spinning from the horrors in the shop windows he is splashed by a passing car and his fancy boots are sullied much to his disgust. He wipes them clean but keeps his eyes fixed on the Mercedes that splashed him. When the car receives its guests from Wokingham Railway Station and heads back the belittled man with the boots walks out onto a Zebra crossing and blocks the cars path in confrontation. The driver tells the man that he has made his point and to move aside but clearly some damage has been done and the Man with the Boots takes notice of the car and where it is heading.
Mia Farrow is returning home after a traumatic accident that has blinded her and she has to start to learn how to cope with her situation in her old surroundings; the home of her aunt and uncle. She manages reasonably well stumbling around and occasionally bumping into some furniture but generally is making a reasonable fist of it when she is visited by her boyfriend who takes her out riding and assures her that he is still as in love with her as he was before. Farrow returns to a chillingly silent house but assumes that her hosts are busy or out and proceeds to go to her room and to bed. The next morning there is still nobody around but the audience can see the carnage that has taken place with victims strewn all about the house. Gradually Farrow realizes the horror that surrounds her and a deadly game of cat and mouse begins with Farrow’s very life at stake.
To be fair, Mia Farrow is pretty convincing as the blind victim locked into a battle of survival. The film has a certain tension without ever getting to a nail-biting stage. There are no standout scenes where a viewer is at the edge of their seat and the final psychological explanation is obvious but also a little unconvincing. All this mayhem because of some sullied boots!?
See No Evil also known as Blind Terror is a fairly tame, reasonably well acted and written thriller that lost potency with time and appears rather dated. The second half should have been an exercise in tension and yet the tempo never really accelerates to an effective climax and nor are there any well-orchestrated shocks for the audience to release the little tension that the film manages to inject into proceedings. It’s a fair effort but far from being a memorable one. Comes across a bit like a poor man’s Wait Until Dark ultimately and the moralizing just doesn’t convince nor does the splashing of a pair of boots suggest such impending doom and chaos.