Horror’s Icons: Jacob Goodnight
The Goodnight Man
In 2006, WWE Films released their first major film, See No Evil, a slasher horror film directed by Gregory Dark and starring the WWE’s own Glenn Jacobs, known to wrestling fans as Kane. Jacobs’ role in the WWE as Kane is that of a dark and demented demon. He is the storyline brother of the Undertaker and has been involved in some of the darkest and most twisted storylines in WWE history. So when the WWE announced that Kane would be portraying the film’s villain, Jacob Goodnight, it seemed like the perfect fit.
In See No Evil, a group of delinquents are taken to the abandoned Blackwell Hotel to clean it up so that it can be turned into a homeless shelter. The group is led by a police officer named Frank and arrive at the hotel to meet its owner, Margaret. But unknown to everyone there, Jacob Goodnight is also hiding in the dilapidated hotel. And when the kids begin to explore the hotel, Goodnight comes out to kill them off one by one.
Goodnight, equipped with a hook and chain, hunts down each of the kids. He kills all of them except for one, who he keeps in a cage. It is later revealed that Margaret is Jacob’s mother and she is instructing him to kill them all, even the one girl that he has locked up. She attempts to kill that girl but Jacob intervenes and kills Margaret by driving her through a bunch of nails that were sticking out of a wall. This enrages Jacob even more and he sets out to finish killing all of the delinquents. But before he can kill all of them, the survivors fight back and push Goodnight out of a window. He hangs on briefly but then gets a pipe shoved in his eye socket and he then plummets to the ground, apparently killing him.
It is learned in the movie that Margaret set this up because years earlier her son was shot when cops responded to a call. The cop that shot him was the same cop that was sent to the Blackwell Hotel with the group of troubled kids. She wanted revenge on the cop and led them all right to Jacob. But in the end, the job wasn’t finished and Jacob was killed. But, as with most horror villains, they are never as dead as they seem to be.
Goodnight Once Again
Jacob Goodnight returned once again in 2014 with the release of See No Evil 2, directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska, the twin sisters that gained popularity in the horror world with their film American Mary. The sequel begins with Goodnight’s body being brought to the morgue after the events at the Blackwell Hotel. But not only is Goodnight’s body being brought there, but also the bodies of all of his victims. So when one of the worker’s at the morgue realizes how much work they will have, she cancels her plans to go out for her birthday and stays there to help. So when her friends find out that she is working the graveyard shift instead of meeting them out, they all go to the morgue to celebrate her birthday there.
As everyone is celebrating and having a good time, Jacob Goodnight rises from the “dead” and picks up right where he left off. He stalks each of the people in the morgue and begins to dispatch them all. Much like the first movie, the bulk of the sequel is Jacob hunting down his victims. He kills everyone until he is attacked by the last two survivors. They stab him with a needle and pump his body with embalming fluid. As the fluid starts to fill his body and ooze out, he falls to the ground and is seemingly dead. Seemingly.
The lone survivor thinks he has finally stopped this maniac. He escapes from the morgue and gets to a car to leave for good. He stops at the gate to open it and then realizes that Jacob Goodnight has followed him. He turns around to find Jacob standing there. Jacob then gouges his eyes out and finishes killing off everyone at the morgue.
I See It Now
The sequel leaves fans of the films with hope for a future installment. I know that the films are not the greatest, but they are entertaining for fans of the genre. The slasher craze has long ended and very few new slashers are created these days. In my opinion, Victor Crowley and Jacob Goodnight are the two best slashers that were born in the past 10 to 15 years. Goodnight is an original character that was born out of a simple but traditional genre story. So hopefully fans can get another chapter in the life of Jacob Goodnight. But if not, he has already left his mark on the horror world. But if there was to be another chapter in the See No Evil film series, Glenn “Kane” Jacobs has to be back.
Jacobs played the role of Jacob Goodnight perfectly. And even though he had no film acting experience prior, he was definitely prepared for this role by his job as a WWE wrestler. He is best known as Kane, the storyline brother of the Undertaker. Jacobs has been portraying the Kane character for 14 years and fit perfectly into the role of Jacob Goodnight. But with all of that said, Jacobs is 48 years old and nearing the end of his wrestling career. He is in phenomenal shape and that would easily help him to get right back into the role of the bulking Goodnight. And hopefully he will as I can only hope to see Goodnight terrorize another group of kids and finish off the horror trilogy.
Daryl Karpinski Jr.