I See You
Directed by Adam Randall
Written by Devon Graye
Starring Helen Hunt, Judah Lewis, Jon Tenney
Remember that ridiculous "Momo" meme that was circulating around for a while? It would be easy to believe that "I See You" is actually about that meme--almost like a new Slenderman sort of situation--but that's actually not the case here. And it's a good thing it's not, because as weird as "I See You" actually is, it's going to have a really impressive payoff.
"I See You" follows a family in turmoil; after an affair, the family involved is pushed to its limits, and lives in a house stuffed full with turmoil and regret. As unexplained events start to take place around them--in the midst of a murder mystery in the small town around them--the situation only gets worse. But as the explanations for the unexplained events kick in, an explosive climax awaits.
The movie starts off on a positively ludicrous note when it assures us it is part of the Saban Films lineup. Yes, the same Saban that gave us the Power Rangers. I don't know where to begin describing how ludicrous that actually is.
Considering that, not three minutes later, we're going to see a boy go flying backwards off a bicycle like he hit a tree limb going about 900 miles an hour, or like he got hooked onto Wonder Woman's invisible jet going the opposite direction for no clear reason, it's going to be easy to think this thing makes no sense.
I give them credit, though; they do a surprisingly good job of building tension throughout this thing. Strange things happen for no clear reason, and it's not immediately clear if we're dealing with a ghost story, a murder mystery, or the weirdest piece of sculpture ever designed in the last three to five years. And they'll also make a rather nifty callback later to the kid flying off the bike that makes a disturbing amount of sense.
Yet the tense nature of the proceedings comes at a cost: the first half-hour of this movie is remarkably disjointed. It jumps from plot point to plot point with very little in the way of narrative connective tissue to hold it all together. Plus, for a movie that calls so much attention to that Momo statue, you don't exactly see a lot of it throughout. Why put it on the box art when the first third of the movie has virtually nothing to do with it?
The more I think about it, though, the more I wonder just how much connection to Momo this movie actually has. That thing on the box art might not actually be Momo after all, and if it isn't, well, the whole thing takes on a whole new and distressing sort of sense. I'm not sure why they went how they did with the box art, but you'll need to ignore it.
The overall effect is surprisingly interesting--they end up basically showing the same movie twice. Once from the perspective of the family who lives in the house, and again from a different perspective that explains a lot of what we'd seen in the first third that made almost no sense.
The ending, meanwhile, provides a payoff of almost staggering dimensions. It took a lot to get here, but man, are you going to be glad you came.
Special features are shockingly limited for a major studio's direct-to-video operation, and include your choice of English or Spanish subtitles. That's it. Seriously. I'm almost ashamed for them.