I See You (2019 film)

I See You is a 2019 American crime horror film directed by Adam Randall, written by Devon Graye, produced by Matt Waldeck, and starring Helen Hunt, Jon Tenney, Judah Lewis, Owen Teague and Libe Barer.[6][7] It follows a suburban family beset by unexplainable events that may be linked to the recent disappearance of a young boy.

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 date
  • 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]

The film 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. Then another boy is abducted. Greg Harper is made lead detective on the case. Evidence in the form of a green pocket knife is found connecting this case to a previous series of abductions which resulted in the conviction of a man many years prior. Harper's family is going through troubles based on an affair his wife, Jackie (Helen Hunt), had been in. Their son Connor is resentful toward his mother because of the affair.

Mysterious events begin plaguing the house; all the silverware goes missing, pictures are removed from their frames, and a window repairman tells Jackie her daughter let him in, though she doesn't have a daughter. Jackie notices a strange mask under Connor's bed. The next day, her former lover, Todd (Sam Trammell), arrives, and her coffee mug falls from the top floor and strikes him on the head. Jackie hides him in the basement so she can take Connor to school. While looking around the basement, Todd is hit over the head by an unknown assailant and Jackie comes home to find him dead. She panics and assumes that Connor has killed Todd. She and Greg bury his body, hoping to give Connor an alibi.

Someone sends Connor a link to a video of someone walking around his own house. A person wearing the strange mask appears as well. Greg and Jackie find Connor tied up in the bathtub with a green pocket knife. Jackie drives Connor to the hospital while Greg searches the house and is attacked with an axe by the frog-masked figure.

The film jumps back in time and reveals that the mysterious happenings in the house are being caused by two homeless people, Mindy (Libe Barer) and Alec (Owen Teague), who have been "phrogging," (hiding in a house 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 novice phrogger Alec decides he wants to make the family believe they are going insane. Every mysterious occurrence has been caused by Alec. Mindy witnesses Greg killing Todd and goes to alert Alec, only to see him putting Connor in the bathtub. She argues with Alec, who accidentally pushes her down the stairs, rendering her unconscious. Alec hides her in Greg's car. After Jackie leaves with Connor to the hospital, Greg leaves with his car, unknowingly taking Mindy with him.

Mindy awakens in the car. When she finds a bag of green pocket knives and Justin Whitter's shirt, she realizes that Greg is the kidnapper. When Greg parks in the forest, Mindy sneaks out of the car and calls 911, but doesn't have good enough reception. She finds an old trailer with the two abducted children trapped in makeshift closets. As she tries to free them, Greg ambushes her and takes her back to his house, shooting her dead.

Alec attacks Greg with the axe. Greg knocks Alec out, then stabs himself to make it appear that he's been attacked. Alec reappears with Greg's gun and says he knows Greg's the kidnapper. Greg recognizes Alec and attempts to explain himself, but Alec doesn't care and kills Greg. Greg's partner Spitzky arrives and seeing Alec with the gun, shoots him in the shoulder. When Alec says, "Detective Spitzky?," the detective recognizes him.

Spitzky finds the bag of evidence in Greg's trunk and the trapped boys are rescued from the trailer. Jackie and Connor arrive home to find it swarming with police and ambulances. Flashbacks show a younger Alec and a friend encountering Greg, who hands Alec a green pocket knife, as the present-day Alec—revealed as a previous victim of Greg's who escaped—is carried into an ambulance.

CastEdit

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 $0 in North America[2] and $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 42 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 d "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 Media. Retrieved March 11, 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'".
  17. ^ "'I See You': Film Review".

External linksEdit