Films Reviews

Edinburgh International Film Festival: I See You (2019)

I See You nails a part of the film that many never get right.

Mild Spoilers for one of the twists in this film

For the first 45 minutes, I See You is desperate for you to think it’s a horror film. Not just any horror film, a completely average and run of the mill, “there is maybe somebody in the house” film. It is enough to make you want to get out of the film there and then. It was 11 am and I’d nearly had it with the film. Then it cut. The film begins to play out from the perspective of the people who are trying to mess with the family. This isn’t the big twist the film has in store for you, that is slightly later on but I feel it is worth pointing out as it is such an interesting take on the home-invader premise.

The first part shows us a family with some boring secrets. The dad is a detective with the local police, the mother is some kind of doctor who was recently unfaithful to the husband and, the son is an angsty teen that sits in his room, plays Overwatch and shouts at his mother for trying to tear the family apart or something. Their part becomes slightly stupid when Mum’s boyfriend comes round and spoilers happen. It feels like some unneeded drama with this sub-plot as the real action takes place with the case of missing children around the area and, of course, the home invasions or ‘Phrogging’ as they call it in the film. After doing a couple of Googles it turns out it’s a real thing that is actually done when people sneak into and live in a large family home unnoticed.

The film even does a couple have a couple of technical merits, particularly in its opening scene where we witness a boy being almost carried up into space, expecting it to be supernatural. He literally flies off his bike and it is pretty well done. The crew also seemed to love their new drone as every establishing shot was taken with one, but not in the standard way, it will fly into a scene from time to time as if you’re an insect. An insect with bad eyesight since the camera quality of this drone appears to be pretty bad.

The second part of the film is where it really kicks into gear, starting off as a found footage film. As I said earlier it was a cool way to handle it and make it interesting. The footage documents their time in the home and is almost a descent into madness for one of the characters that are phrogging about the home. He is superbly portrayed by Owen Teague who out acts absolutely everyone in this film. It was a shame that it didn’t stay the found footage for the remainder of the film from that point onwards. The rest of the film is a climactic battle of sorts almost between the homeowner and the psychotic phrog. It doesn’t go anywhere and is particularly interesting. The final twist is almost completely obvious if you have seen a film before, but it is still quite an enjoyable ride of a movie.

It is very odd in the case of I See You, it nails a part of the film that many never get right, the middle section. It only happens to drag in the beginning and end of the film. With a couple of good performances, the interesting take on a home invasion saves the movie from being dry and somewhat predictable. The found footage nature of the 2nd act really will make you perk up in your seat, then the last 20 minutes will send you right back off to sleep like you were in the dreadfully boring first act.

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