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

I See You
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAdam Randall
Screenplay byDevon Graye[1]
Produced byMatt Waldeck[1]
CinematographyPhilipp Blaubach[1]
Edited byJeff Castelluccio[1]
Music byWilliam Arcane[1]
  • 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
Budget$5 million
Box office$1.1 million[4][5]

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

Plot edit

Ten-year-old Justin Whitter is abducted by an unknown force while riding his bike. 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 abductions committed 15 years prior by a man named Cole Gordon, who is now imprisoned.

Greg and Spitzky are informed that Gordon is pushing for a mistrial in light of a new abduction. They go to speak with Tommy Braun, one of Gordon's two surviving victims, but he becomes hysterical when he sees them.

Greg's wife, Jackie, recently had an affair, leading their only child, Connor, to resent her. Mysterious events occur in their house - items go missing, a repairman states he was let into the house by their daughter despite the couple not having a daughter, and Greg becomes trapped in a closet, but when Jackie frees him, Greg sees nothing blocking the door and no one else in the room.

Jackie is visited by her former lover, Todd, who claims to be in love with her and encourages her to continue their affair. Jackie attempts to amicably end things with Todd before he is hit in the head by a mug, which Jackie assumes Connor threw at him. Jackie hides Todd in the basement and promises to take him to the hospital when she returns from driving Connor to school. Jackie nearly runs over Justin Whitter’s mother, who is standing in the driveway, visibly frail and distressed at the disappearance of her son. Mrs. Whitter says she knows Justin is still alive and Jackie reassures her that Greg will safely return him to her.

While Jackie is gone, Todd is attacked again. Jackie returns to find Todd dead and assumes Connor was responsible. Jackie leads Greg to Todd's body and confesses that he had visited earlier that day, but insists they just talked and their affair was over. Jackie suggests Connor killed him, perhaps unintentionally, and she and Greg bury him to protect Connor.

At home, Connor discovers the missing silverware wrapped in clothing in the dryer. He receives a bizarre message on his computer as a masked person appears behind him. Greg and Jackie find Connor tied up in the bathtub with a green pocket knife next to him. Jackie takes Connor to the hospital.

Through flashbacks it is revealed that the mysterious happenings in the house were caused by two homeless people, Mindy and Alec, who have been hiding in the Harper home. Mindy stays hidden while the family is present, but Alec decides to make them think they are going insane. Mindy witnesses Todd get murdered, where the assailant is revealed to be Greg, and goes to alert Alec, only to see Alec tying up Connor. She threatens to call the police, but he accidentally pushes her down the stairs before hiding her unconscious body in Greg's car. After Jackie leaves to take Connor to the hospital, Greg drives away, unknowingly taking Mindy with him.

When Mindy awakens, she discovers multiple green pocket knives and Justin's shirt while searching Greg's bag and realizes he is the kidnapper. When he parks in the forest, she sneaks out and tries to call 911, but cannot find a stable connection. She comes across an old trailer where Justin and another missing boy are trapped. As she tries to free them, Greg ambushes her, takes her home, and fatally shoots her. Greg is attacked by Alec but knocks Alec out, then stabs himself to make it seem like he was attacked by the two.

Alec regains consciousness and fatally shoots Greg with his own gun. Spitzky arrives and shoots Alec in the shoulder, but the two realize that they recognize each other. Jackie and Connor arrive to find their home swarming with police. Spitzky discovers the bag of evidence in Greg's car and the two boys are rescued. As Alec is carried to an ambulance, flashbacks show a younger Alec Travers and Tommy Braun encountering Greg, revealing that Alec was Greg's other kidnapped survivor.

Cast edit

Production edit

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]

Release edit

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] The film grossed $1.1 million on a budget of $5 million.[4]

Reception edit

Box office edit

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

Critical response edit

The film holds a 75% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 45 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]

References edit

  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 November 12, 2023.
  4. ^ a b c "I See You (2019)". Box Office Mojo. IMDbPro. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Filmed-in-Cleveland 'I See You' hits theaters as its hometown producer realizes dream". December 5, 2019. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  6. ^ "I See You". IMDb. 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". The Hollywood Reporter. July 8, 2019.

External links edit