I See You is something of a rare gem of a movie that warrants your time and attention.
A bold statement but one I stand by. For its strength lies in its narrative, from a screenplay by Devon Graye Fleming, who as a little bit of trivia played a young Dexter from the Dexter series. Fleming manages to craft a delightful tale that twists and turns, inverting and reverting subgenres along the way.
One moment it’s supernatural, then family drama, full-on suspense drama, before shifting again into an out and out horror thriller. With each turn of the storyline cog, there also comes a collection of characters who are so dimensional that you continuously guess their motives and just when you think you have them sussed out, Fleming drops another background reveal, that makes you question your judgement all over again.
We open with a typical suburban town where we follow a hapless young kid, Justin Whitter, out on a bike ride through the woods, when a mysterious force suddenly ejects him from his seat out of nowhere.
So far, so supernatural.
We’re then introduced to Greg Harper (Jon Tenney) the lead detective in the search for Justin Whitter and through the investigation a green pocket knife is discovered, an MO from a series of crimes years earlier, promoting the question, did they police get the wrong man or is this a copycat killer?
The story then follows Harper and his home life with his wife, Jackie played by Helen Hunt, who I can’t recall when I last saw her in a movie. Here she again proves her worth displaying the strength and vulnerability of Jackie, a woman who it turns out has had an affair, which she claims has ended and is now scrambling around to not just save her marriage but repair the relationship she has with her son, Conor (Judah Lewis), who can’t forgive her for her actions.
We’re witnessing a family on the rocks, but that’s not the most unsettling thing at hand here, as there is something that doesn’t sit right and all the while you get the sense the family is being watched by some kind of spiritual energy.
What happens next is another shift in tone that if I were to disclose here, would be a massive spoiler and as such I will refrain from going any further with the plotline, only to say that it’s the first change in direction that at first is bit of a jolt that you think is a big misfire, but as the next chapter unfolds, it soon settles in and then you’re in for the ride.
The film is filled with a great cast of characters that add weight to the drama including Gregory Alan Williams and Libe Barer, but the standout is Owen Teague, (Parick Hockstetter – It and It: Chapter Two) who is suitably unhinged and the most questionable character in the mix before all the pieces start falling into place.
I See You may not measure up for some, especially those who prefer to have a less fractured narrative presented to them, at least tonally speaking.
But this film hits all the notes perfectly in my opinion, and the shifts and changes that occur throughout the film are bold and on point, that it doesn’t hide from its direction, striding from one tonal switch to the next.
- Saul Muerte