I see you is a beautifully crafted puzzle of a horror film


Welcome to Cheat Sheet, our detailed reviews of festival films, virtual reality previews and other special event publications. This criticism comes from the interactive festival SXSW 2019.

There is a striking tradition of children's disappearance films where a traumatized parent tries to convince the authorities that something has happened to their child, but the evidence suggests that there never was a child. A subset of the mystery "Who's crazy here?", Which plays with the audience's sense of reality and understanding of a situation, films like Rabbit lake is missing, Flight plan, and The forgotten rely on the audience to be compassionate to a protagonist who could create a mystery and a crisis where there is none.

The complicated narrative mystery I see you plays with expectations and reality in the same way, but is surprisingly candid about his missing children. In the opening scene, a boy riding a bike through the woods is torn violently into the air by an invisible hand, disappearing off the screen. This is a memorable opening opening and a statement of a specific tone and purpose for the film. But like so many elements in I see you, it sets expectations that do not materialize immediately in the usual way expected. Writer Devon Graye and director Adam Randall (from Netflix) Iboy) uses this strange image of the 10-year-old flying boy to catch his audience, but the rest of the film is a much more complicated process of playing his line and then overthrowing the audience. In this movie, nothing is exactly what it seems – except when that is the case, and the audience simply does not have the tools to interpret it for the moment.

What is the genre?

Horror movie, thriller, domestic drama, mystery murder, police procedure … I see you Director Devon Graye and director Adam Randall keep viewers in distress by letting them guess the exact nature of what they are watching.

What is it about?

When the 10-year-old Justin Whitter disappears into the woods, detective Greg Harper (Jon Tenney) and his partner Spitzky (Gregory Alan Williams) are in charge of the investigation. A clue left between the kidnapping of the boy and a notorious child murderer sent to jail by Spitzky 15 years ago, asking the question of whether he had sentenced the wrong man or where he was there. had an imitating killer haunting his city. Meanwhile, his wife, Jackie (Helen Hunt), tries to reconcile with him after an affair, but their teenage son Connor (Judah Lewis) attacks her in an increasingly cruel way.

By the time strange things begin to happen at home – banal appearing or disappearing items, consumer electronics lighting up spontaneously, a broken window and a window repairer having seen something unexplained – the public already has a complete list of possible explanations and suspects, enough to create any number of plausible "Filmmakers want to think X, but it's probably Actually Theories: The truth is surprising, but most importantly, it is intriguing – the kind of revelation that opens possibilities, instead of closing them.

What is it? really sure?

It's hard to deepen what I see you does not say much, but it can safely be said that this is partly about the surprising vulnerability of vulnerable people, whether they are confronted with malicious intentions that they may not even be aware of. , to the unknown in general or simply. their need of other people. Hunt, in particular, delivers a painfully raw performance, while she begs her husband's forgiveness, who faces him with cold accusations or tries to keep a brave appearance in the face of his son's fury. But Tenney also seems vulnerable as he tries to navigate his wife's betrayal and suspicions about him, and Lewis gives a strong depiction of a boy concealing his aggression by aggression. There are many unresolved needs in this film and there is not much response to his needs.

But the film also talks about the ease with which it is easy for people to see their expectations instead of the truth and neglect important details while living their own internal dramas. And it could just as well be described as an exploration of how past trauma explains or does not excuse people's behavior.

Is it good?

I see you is not for everyone. The kind of people who enter a movie waiting for a given experience and become furious when, for example, Cloverfield or There is no country for old people or He comes at night do not play as they imagined, will not like this movie. People who love drama series and can tolerate movie trailers that confirm every story told in a movie. Even certain types or horror fans, who are waiting for appalling gorges or an agonizing terror, can complain about it. I see you is tense but occasionally terrifying. Nobody is going to spread Hereditary-style word ahead on how it's the scariest thing ever.

But for those who attach great importance to the craft of meticulous history and the ability to avoid the big clichés of the genre, I see you is a rare gift. It is an experience of tension that gives way to a long series of surprises and narrative gains, some of which may not even realize that they were willing to want until they arrived on the moment. This is a project for fans of Memento or Timecrimes, the kind of complex puzzle where all the pieces fit together with a careful precision.

None of this would matter if the dramatic segment was poorly executed. Instead of, I see you Dodge the clichés so skillfully in terms of director style. The score, of the first film composer William Arcane, is unconventional and surprising. (During a question-and-answer session at SXSW, filmmakers explained how Arcane used unconventional instruments to produce the score, including wire hangers. "I think he told a at that time he had had a bone clarinet and that he had punched holes in. Will Quiney, the music supervisor, said 🙂 The cinematography is unobtrusive but sharp, the focus being on cleverly lit faces, producing an effect that looks more like a family drama than a supernatural movie. horror film. And the cast helps keep the tone moderate, but intense.

But above all, I see you he relies on his script, which creates expectations for overcoming them, and then uses his new paradigm to create a new set of anticipations. Whenever the public thinks they understand the current games and try to get ahead of the film, the story announces a new development, until the last moment of the film. This is the kind of mystery that can not be predicted, even if all the clues are presented in plain sight.

What should be noted?

This could pass for PG. I see you is surprisingly short of graphic violence and completely devoid of nudity or sexual situations. There are some adult themes, but aside from blasphemy, there are surprisingly few things in this movie that could not have been screened in the 1940s or 50s, while this particular brand carefully prepared advertisements was more common. With relatively few changes, it could have played in doubles with Alfred Hitchcock. The Lady Vanishes, another complex mystery "What's the truth here?", which rewards viewers for their close attention.

How can I actually watch it?

I see you Currently looking for an American cast, so there is no release date yet, but it seems inevitable that it will come in theaters at some point. Just do not take it for the other 2019 version called I see you (on a vlogger who accidentally captures crimes in front of a camera), or 2016 I see you (a Bollywood romance about a man in love with an apparent ghost), or 2016 I see you (about a teenager who gets rich by filming the bad behavior of his family and spreading it online). In fact, do not be very surprised if this finally comes out with a more distinctive title.

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