I See You (2019 film)

I See You is a 2019 American horror film directed by Adam Randall from a screenplay by Devon Graye. The film stars Helen Hunt, Jon Tenney, and Judah Lewis.[6][7]

I See You
ISeeYouPoster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAdam Randall
Screenplay byDevon Graye[1]
Produced byMatt Waldeck[1]
Starring
CinematographyPhilipp Blaubach[1]
Edited byJeff Castelluccio[1]
Music byWilliam Arcane[1]
Production
companies
  • Bankside Films
  • Head Gear Films
  • Quickfire Films
  • Zodiac Features
Distributed bySaban Films
Release dates
  • March 13, 2019 (2019-03-13) (SXSW)
  • December 6, 2019 (2019-12-06) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes[2][3]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$5 million[4]
Box office$1.1 million[5]

I See You premiered at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival and was released on December 6, 2019, to generally positive reviews.

PlotEdit

Ten-year-old Justin Whitter is abducted while riding his bicycle through a park, one month after another boy, Michael King, went missing. Greg Harper is made lead detective on the case, assisted by Detective Spitzky. A green pocket knife is found at the scene, connecting the crime to a series of previous abductions, committed by a man named Cole Gordon fifteen years prior. Meanwhile, Greg's family life is in ruins after his wife Jackie had an affair. Their only child, Connor remains deeply resentful towards her since he learned of the affair.

Greg and Spitzky are called in by the chief. She informs them that Cole is pushing for a mistrial in light of the new abductions. They go to speak with Braun, one of Cole's two surviving victims, but he becomes hysterical when he sees them. Mysterious events start to occur in the Harper house; silverware goes missing, televisions turn on by themself, pictures are removed from their frames, and a repairman tells Jackie he was let in by her daughter.

Jackie is visited by her former lover, Todd. Intent on continuing the affair later, she hides him in the basement while she takes Connor to school. While in the basement, Todd is attacked by an unknown assailant. Jackie returns home to find him dead. She panics, assuming Connor has killed him. She and Greg bury his body.

Back at home, Connor hears a clanging noise coming from the utility room, and discovers the missing silverware wrapped in clothing in the washing machine. He then receives a bizarre message on his computer as a person wearing a frog mask appears behind him. Greg and Jackie return home to find Connor tied up in the bathtub, with a green pocket knife next to him. Jackie takes Connor to the hospital while Greg searches the house.

The film then jumps back in time and reveals that the mysterious happenings in the house were being caused by two homeless people, Mindy and Alec, who have been "phrogging" (hiding in houses unbeknownst to the owners) in the Harper home. Mindy is experienced and tries to keep a low profile so that she never gets caught, while Alec decides he wants to make the family believe they are going insane. However, Mindy is accidentally seen by the repairman while exploring the house; she is the girl he believed was Jackie's daughter. Mindy witnessed Greg killing Todd and went to alert Alec, only to see him putting Connor in the bathtub. The couple argue and Alec accidentally pushed her down the stairs, rendering her unconscious. Alec then hides her in Greg's car. After Jackie left to take Connor to the hospital, Greg left with his car, unknowingly taking Mindy with him.

Mindy awakens in the trunk of the car. She searches Greg's bag and finds multiple green pocket knives and Justin's shirt, revealing Greg is the kidnapper. When he parks up in the forest, Mindy sneaks out and tries to call 911 to no avail. She comes across an old trailer where Justin and Michael are trapped in makeshift closets. As she tries to free them, Greg ambushes her and takes her back to his house before shooting her dead. Alec attacks Greg with the axe, disarming him. Greg knocks Alec out then stabs himself to make it seem like he's been attacked.

Alec recovers consciousness and grabs Greg's gun. When Alec steps into the light without a mask, Greg recognizes him. Alec kills Greg before he can explain himself. Spitzky arrives and shoots Alec in the shoulder. Alec says Spitzky's name and Spitzky also recognizes him. Jackie and Connor arrive home to find it swarming with police. Spitzky finds the bag of evidence in Greg's car and the two boys are rescued from the trailer.

Flashbacks show a younger Alec and Braun encountering Greg, implying that Alec was the other surviving child. Present day Alec is carried into an ambulance.

CastEdit

Sam Trammell makes an uncredited appearance as Todd.

ProductionEdit

Helen Hunt joined the cast in June 2017.[8][9] Principal photography took place in May 2018 around Chagrin Falls, Cleveland and Lakewood, Ohio.[10][11][12][13]

ReleaseEdit

The film had its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival, in the Midnighters section,[1] on March 13, 2019.[14] It was released in theaters by Saban Films on December 6, 2019,[3][2] and on VOD by Cinema Epoch Video on December 3, 2019.[2]

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

I See You grossed $1.1 million worldwide,[5] against a production budget of $5 million.[4]

Critical responseEdit

The film holds a 79% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 43 reviews, and an average rating of 6.4/10. The site's consensus reads: "I See You gets tripped up on its own narrative contortions, but a solid cast and an effective blend of scares and suspense make this slow-building mystery worth watching."[3] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 65 out of 100, based on 8 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[15]

Dennis Harvey in Variety described the film as "an eerie suspense exercise that starts out looking like a supernatural tale — one of several viewer presumptions this cleverly engineered narrative eventually pulls the rug out from under."[16] Stephen Dalton of The Hollywood Reporter stated, "I See You is such a finely crafted exercise in slow-burn suspense that its loopy plot contortions only seem absurd in retrospect," and elaborated, "actor turned first-time screenwriter Devon Graye's tricksy script keeps audiences on their toes with all this multi-viewpoint misdirection, so much so that most will be caught off-guard by further major reveals."[17]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f "SXSW 2019 Schedule | I See You". SXSW Film Festival. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "I See You (2019)". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "I See You (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Filmed-in-Cleveland 'I See You' hits theaters as its hometown producer realizes dream". December 5, 2019. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "I See You (2019)". Box Office Mojo. IMDbPro. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  6. ^ I See You, retrieved November 6, 2019
  7. ^ Miska, Brad (May 14, 2018). "Helen Hunt Shoots Off An Intense Look In First Shot From 'I See You'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  8. ^ Hipes, Patrick (June 7, 2017). "Helen Hunt To Star In Horror-Thriller 'I See You'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  9. ^ McNary, Dave (June 7, 2017). "Helen Hunt to Star in Horror-Thriller 'I See You'". Variety. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  10. ^ Goldfarb, Rebecca (May 22, 2018). "Helen Hunt Has a Rockin' Start to Her Time Filming in Cleveland". Cleveland Scene. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  11. ^ Wright, Matt (May 22, 2018). "On the set of "I See You," Helen Hunt movie filming in Northeast Ohio". WJW (TV). Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  12. ^ "Extras wanted for Helen Hunt horror movie being filmed in Cleveland area". WJW (TV). May 22, 2018. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  13. ^ Grater, Tom (May 14, 2018). "First look: Helen Hunt horror 'I See You' completes cast, shoot underway (exclusive)". Screen Daily. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  14. ^ "SXSW 2019 Schedule". SXSW Film Festival. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  15. ^ "I See You Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  16. ^ "Film Review: 'I See You'". December 5, 2019.
  17. ^ "'I See You': Film Review". July 8, 2019.

External linksEdit