See No Evil (1971) Blu-ray Review

Director: Richard Fleischer | Run time: 90 minutes | Indicator | On sale TBC

Recently blinded in a horse riding accident, young Sarah (Mia Farrow) returns to her uncle’s English country home, unaware that a psychopathic killer is stalking the family.

Starting with an unseen man leaving a cinema after having seen a horror movie double bill, See No Evil keeps the identity of its killer obscured not just from its blind protagonist but the viewer too.

Mia Farrow is Sarah, who is coming to terms with life as a blind woman, returning home after a horse riding accident. Intercut with scenes of her coming to grips with no sight are scenes of the same unseen man from earlier living what seems to be a life of sin. Knowing what is in store with See No Evil it is apparent this man is not nice. He was seen leaving a horror movie, after all…

The director, legendary Richard Fleischer, takes a long time building the tension for what everyone knows is coming: the not nice man attacking Sarah. For well over half the run time this places like some sort of drama about a young lady overcoming a tragic event, with extended sequences of her learning to trust horses again, rekindle her relationship and walk into things in her big country house. 

Then it happens. Not giving too much away the unseen man finally strikes and Sarah is left all by herself, with no sight to aid her, as he aims in on her. Fleischer hammers home the point that not only does Sarah feel isolated due to her handicap but she is now physically handicapped and in danger as a result.

The unseen man, the viewer only ever sees him from the waist down and great efforts are made to hide his face, has a tinge of a giallo killer about him. The cowboy boots he wears are instantly identifiable as he swaggers from one place to the next. Viewers paying attention will figure out who he is before the big reveal at the end. 

The high definition on this first time UK Blu-ray release is solid. The picture, for the most, is free of any grain and there are no noticeable imperfections. The title is limited to 3000 copies.

Fleischer is a man who has directed many movies, before and since See No Evil, that have became classics of cinema. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), Fantastic Voyage (1966), 10 Rillington Place (1971) and Soylent Green (1973) are just some of his many works. See No Evil is not his strongest title yet his direction during the scenes with the not nice man and the finale are excellent. 

Two versions of this movie were released: UK version Blind Terror and See No Evil. Blind Terror is available on the disc as a special feature. They do have slight differences  that a 7 minute long extra explains. There isn’t much difference between the two that warrants both being watched, however.

Pick of the extras.

Norman Eshley Interview (11 mins) – The actor that played Steve talks about the feature, doing a West End play while filming See No Evil, the director being a positive influence on the cast, Mia Farrow and other topics.

Order here.