December 2, 2019 I See You (Movie Review)
Academy Award winner Helen Hunt stars in the new Crime Thriller I See You, which arrives to select theaters, as well as On Digital & On Demand, as of Friday, December 6th, 2019 via Saban Films.
In the lush Cleveland suburbs, the Harpers are much like any other upper middle class American family. Greg (Jon Tenney: Tombstone 1993, The Closer series), a cop, and wife Jackie (Hunt: Mad About You series, As Good As It Gets 1997), a psychiatrist, along with their teen son Connor (Judah Lewis: The Babysitter 2017, Summer of ‘84 2018) might live in a gorgeous home but they still have their issues.
When a young boy’s disappearance places the entire community on edge, Harper and his partner Spitzky (Gregory Alan Williams: Remember the Titans 2000, Chicago Med series) are forced to consider the possibility of a copycat criminal mirroring a string of child abductions that plagued the region 15 years ago. With the tension mounting in the search for ten-year-old Justin Whitter (Riley Caya in his acting debut), the stress at home also rises.
So does the mystery. As random items begin to disappear from their beautiful home, and TVs and phonographs begin to play on their own, the already tense family are struggling to understand what is happening in their house. Is the ominous presence connected to the recent disappearance or are the Harpers being haunted by the mistakes of their past?
Clocking in at 98 minutes, I See You was directed by Adam Randall (Level Up 2016, iBoy 2017) and written by Devon Graye, a first time writer who has previously acted in the Dexter and American Horror Story series. The film also features the acting talents of Owen Teague (Black Mirror series, It 2017), Libe Barer (Colony series, Sneaky Pete series), Sam Trammell (True Blood series, The Fault in Our Stars 2014), Jeremy Gladen (The Theatre Bizarre 2011, Whitman 2011), Brooks Roseberry (Orphan Horse 2018, Them That Follow 2019), Wyatt McClure (Psychos 2017, Young Sheldon series), and more.
Billed as a blend of Drama, Thriller, and Horror, I See You is a Crime Drama with a healthy dose of Supernatural Thriller elements as well as a heavy bit of mystery. That all amounts to what we will call a Crime Thriller, and one with some serious style. From its thoughtful transitions between scenes to a wonderfully artistic depiction of Whitter’s disappearance, this is a film that never sits complacently inside any specific genre. Instead, Randall and his entire crew take their production to the next level with their attention to detail and their elevated take on the Crime Thriller sub-genre.
Some of this success is rightfully owed to the exceptional screenplay authored by Graye, which is hiding some truly satisfying twists and turns throughout. Bringing these surprises to life on the big screen, Hunt attains top-billing in the wonderful cast and rightfully so. A talented actress, she travels through the film in a heavy fog of emotional and physical exhaustion that flawlessly communicates her character’s predicament. With the very future of her family on the line, Hunt’s Jackie is equal parts haunted by her past and anxious for her future. Hunt’s delivery of the material is understated with well-crafted minimalism.
Similarly, Lewis gives an equally impressive performance as her son Connor, an angsty teen who is fraught with understandable anger over his parents’ troubled marriage. His rage evokes our sympathy and chooses us to favor one parent over the other. The key to this entire twisted tale, however, are Teague’s Alec and Barer’s Mindy, who arrive mid-film to shake things up a bit. While Barer’s Mindy is a thief with morals, her perfect foil is found in Teague’s Alec who seems to have no qualms whatsoever about his criminal activities. Their mutual push and pull leads to a definitive turn in the plot of the story—boosting a solid film to new heights—and allows Teague to take center stage and deliver a stellar performance.
Ultimately, it is Tenney that provides the glue that binds all of their individual performances together. A frustrated husband questioning his marriage, and a hard-working investigator struggling to solve a mysterious case and save a young boy’s life, Tenney’s Greg anchors both facets of this mystery. Phenomenal in his role, he delivers an exceptional portrayal that empowers his co-stars in all of their individual performances and paves the way for the film’s surprising quirks.
So, in a market over-saturated with Thrillers is I See You worth your time? If you love a well-done Crime Thriller/Drama, absolutely. Elevating the genre with its truly satisfying twists and unexpected turns, this film is a stylish addition to the genre that is well-crafted. With a myriad of wonderfully shot transitions and enough intrigue to keep you glued to your screen for its run-time, I See You is remarkably enjoyable to watch. For this, Cryptic Rock give I See You 4.5 of 5 stars.