I See You (2019 film)

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I See You
ISeeYouPoster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAdam Randall
Produced byMatt Waldeck
Screenplay byDevon Graye
Starring
Music byWilliam Arcane
CinematographyPhilipp Blaubach
Edited byJeff Castelluccio
Production
companies
  • Bankside Films
  • Head Gear Films
  • Quickfire Films
  • Zodiac Features
Distributed bySaban Films
Release date
  • March 11, 2019 (2019-03-11) (SXSW)
  • December 6, 2019 (2019-12-06) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$5 million[1]
Box office$1.1 million[2]

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.[3][4] It follows a suburban family beset by unexplainable events that may be linked to the recent disappearance of a young boy.

The film 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 while riding his bicycle through a local park. Greg Harper (Jon Tenney) 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 shown to be going through its own troubles based on an affair his wife, Jackie (Helen Hunt), had been engaged in. Their son, Connor (Judah Lewis), is very resentful toward his mother because of the affair.

Mysterious events begin plaguing the house; all the silverware goes missing, several pictures are removed from their frames, Jackie's favorite coffee mug goes missing, and a window repairman is let in by someone inside the house while the family is away. Jackie goes into Connor's room to pick up laundry and notices a strange mask under his bed. She doesn't ask about it.

The next day, Jackie's former lover, Todd (Sam Trammell), arrives at the house, and while Jackie is telling him she can't see him anymore, Jackie's 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 take the body to a wooded area and bury his body, hoping to give Connor an alibi.

While Connor is on the computer, someone sends him a link to a video of someone walking around his own house. We see someone wearing the strange mask in the doorway to his room. Greg and Jackie return home to find Connor tied up in the bathtub with a green pocket knife nearby. Jackie drives Connor to the hospital while Greg searches the house and is attacked with an ax by the frog-masked figure.

The film then jumps back in time and reveals that the mysterious happenings in the house are caused by two 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, an experienced phrogger, tries to keep a very 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 in the film is shown to have been caused by Alec, including the missing silverware and Todd's incapacitation. However, while Todd is in the basement, Mindy witnesses Greg killing him. She 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. Greg and Jackie return and find Connor in the bathtub; Jackie takes him to the hospital. After Jackie leaves, Greg takes his own car, unknowingly taking Mindy with him.

Mindy awakens in the car and when she finds a bag of green pocket knives and Justin Whitter's shirt, she then realizes that Greg is the kidnapper. When Greg parks the car in the forest, Mindy sneaks out of the car and calls 911, but doesn't have good enough reception for them to hear her. Mindy finds an old trailer with all the abducted children trapped in makeshift closets. As Mindy tries to free them, Greg ambushes her and takes her back to his house. He forces her to stand up before shooting her dead. Greg finally discovers Mindy and Alec's things in the attic room.

Alec gets Greg's attention with the record player and attacks him with the ax. Greg knocks Alec out, then stabs himself to make it appear that he's been attacked. Alec reappears holding Greg's gun and tells him he knows he's the kidnapper. Greg recognizes Alec and attempts to explain himself, but Alec makes it clear he doesn't care and shoots and kills Greg. Greg's partner Spitzky arrives and seeing Alec holding the gun, shoots Alec in the shoulder. But when Alec says, "Detective Spitzky?" he recognizes him.

Spitzky finds the bag of evidence in Greg's trunk. The trapped boys are rescued from the trailer. Jackie and Connor arrive home to find their home swarming with police cars and ambulances.

Flashbacks are shown of a younger Alec and a friend encountering Greg, who hands Alec a green pocket knife, as the present-day Alec—obviously a previous victim of Greg's—is carried into an ambulance.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Helen Hunt joined the cast in June 2017.[5][6] Principal photography took place in May 2018 around Chagrin Falls, Cleveland and Lakewood, Ohio.[7][8][9][10]

Reception[edit]

As of August 2020, I See You holds a 77% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 39 reviews, and an average rating of 6.3/10. 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."[11] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 65 out of 100, based on 8 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[12]

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."[13] 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."[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Filmed-in-Cleveland 'I See You' hits theaters as its hometown producer realizes dream". December 5, 2019. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  2. ^ "I See You (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved Nov 2, 2020.
  3. ^ I See You, retrieved 2019-11-06
  4. ^ Miska, Brad (14 May 2018). "Helen Hunt Shoots Off An Intense Look In First Shot From 'I See You'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  5. ^ Hipes, Patrick (7 June 2017). "Helen Hunt To Star In Horror-Thriller 'I See You'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  6. ^ McNary, Dave (7 June 2017). "Helen Hunt to Star in Horror-Thriller 'I See You'". Variety. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  7. ^ Goldfarb, Rebecca (22 May 2018). "Helen Hunt Has a Rockin' Start to Her Time Filming in Cleveland". Cleveland Scene. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  8. ^ Wright, Matt (22 May 2018). "On the set of "I See You," Helen Hunt movie filming in Northeast Ohio". WJW (TV). Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Extras wanted for Helen Hunt horror movie being filmed in Cleveland area". WJW (TV). 22 May 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  10. ^ Grater, Tom (14 May 2018). "First look: Helen Hunt horror 'I See You' completes cast, shoot underway (exclusive)". Screen Daily. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  11. ^ "I See You (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  12. ^ "I See You reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  13. ^ "Film Review: 'I See You'".
  14. ^ "'I See You': Film Review".

External links[edit]