Welcome to Cheat Sheet, our breakdown style revisions of festival films, previews of virtual reality and other special event versions. This review comes from the S9SW Interactive Festival of 2019.
There is a surprising tradition of films for missing children in which a traumatized parent tries to convince the authorities that something has happened to their child, but the evidence suggests that it is not He was never a child in the first place. A subset of the mystery "Who's crazy here?", Which plays with the public's sense of reality and understanding of a situation, films like Bunny Lake is missing Flightplan and The Forgotten rely on the public to empathize with a protagonist who could create a mystery and a crisis in which there is no one.
The narratively complicated mystery I See You plays with expectations and reality alike, but is surprisingly sincere about its infantile demise. In the opening scene, a boy cycling through the woods is violently torn in the air by an invisible hand, disappearing off the screen. It is a memorable game of chance and apparently a declaration of a specific tone and intent for the film. But like so many elements in I See You establishes expectations that do not manifest themselves immediately in the expected and familiar ways. Screenwriter Devon Graye and director Adam Randall (of NetBlix iBoy ) use that strange image of the fifteen-year-old steering wheel to attract their audience, but the rest of the film is a much more complicated process than playing their line, then it involves the public again. In this film, nothing is exactly what it seems ̵
What is the genre?  Horror films, thrillers, domestic dramas, mysterious murders, police procedural trials … I See You makes its way into a number of different genres, and part of the way the writer Devon Graye and director Adam Randall support the audience by keeping them guessing about the exact nature of what they are watching.
What is it?
When 15-year-old Justin Whitter disappears into the woods, detective Greg Harper (Jon Tenney) and his partner Spitzky (Gregory Alan Williams) are assigned to investigate. A clue left behind connects the kidnapping of the boy to a notorious Spitzky murderer sent to jail 15 years ago, raising the question of whether he had condemned the wrong man or whether there was a copied murderer who haunted his city. Meanwhile, his wife Jackie (Helen Hunt) is trying to repair fences with him after having an affair, but their teenage son Connor (Judah Lewis) is acting against her in increasingly bad ways.
For the moment strange things are starting to happen in their home – trivial objects that appear or disappear, the home electronics spontaneously turn on, a window is destroyed and a window repairer who has seen something inexplicable – the public has already a complete list of possible explanations and suspicions, enough to create any number of plausible "The directors want us to think of X, but it's probably actually Y" theories. The current truth is surprising, but more importantly, it is intriguing – the kind of revelation that opens up possibilities, instead of closing them.
What is it ?
It is difficult to delve into what I See You is getting without giving too far, but it is safe to say that, in part, it is about how surprisingly vulnerable people can be that they are facing to evil intentions that may not be aware of, unknown in general, or just their need for other people. Hunt, in particular, offers a painfully raw performance as he begs her husband for forgiveness that meets cold accusations or tries to maintain a brave appearance in the face of his son's fury. But Tenney also seems vulnerable as he tries to traverse his wife's betrayal and his suspicions about her, and Lewis gives a strong portrait of a boy who covers his pain with aggression. There is a lot of open needs in this film and not much is addressed.
But the film is also questionable about how easy it is for people to see only their expectations rather than the truth and neglect important details while they are experiencing their internal dramas. And it could just as easily be described as exploring how past trauma does or does not explain or excuse people's behavior.
I See You is not for everyone. The kind of people who walk in a movie expecting some experience and get mad when, for example, Cloverfield or No Country for Old Men or It Comes at Night don't play like they imagined, they won't enjoy this movie. Not even the people who love formidable dramas and can tolerate trailers that confirm every single story in a film. Even certain types or fans of the horror, who expect spit of blood or paralyzing terror, could come out complaining. I See You is tense but only occasionally terrifying. No one is spreading Hereditary in advanced style about how it's the scariest thing ever.
But for people who specifically reward the plot and the ability to dodge wide-ranging clichés, I See You is a rare gift. It is an experience of tension that gives way to a long series of surprises and narrative rewards, some of which may not even be aware of being ready to be desired until they arrive at the moment. This is a project for fans of Memento or Timecrimes the kind of intricate film-puzzles in which all the pieces fit together with well-worked precision.
None of this would be important if the dramatic segment were poorly executed. Instead, I See You dodges clichés equally cleverly in terms of directorial style. The soundtrack, by the film composer for the first time William Arcane, is unconventional and surprising. (During a post-screening question and answer session at SXSW, the filmmakers discussed how Arcane used unconventional instruments to produce the score, including clothes hangers. "I think at one point he said he would have a clarinet of bones and that he had broken the holes in it, and was making music from things like that, "said music supervisor Will Quiney.) Cinematography is subdued but sharp, with an emphasis on illuminated faces artfully, producing an effect that looks more like a family drama than a supernatural horror film. And the cast helps keep the tone subdued, but intense.
But above all I See You is based on his script, which creates expectations to remove them, so he uses his new paradigm to create a new series of previews. Every time the public thinks they understand the games they are playing and tries to anticipate the film, the story brings out a new development, until the last moments of the film. It is the kind of mystery that seems impossible to predict, even if all the clues are arranged in plain sight.
What should be evaluated?
It could pass for PG. I See You is surprisingly short on graphic violence and completely devoid of nudity or sexual situations. There are some themes for adults, but apart from the bad words, there is a bit of a surprise in this film that could not have played on the screen in the years 40/40 or 50, when this particular brand of tantalizing spectators was more common. With relatively few changes, this could have played a double movie with Alfred Hitchcock The Lady Vanishes another intricate mystery "What & # 39; s the truth here?" Which rewards the spectators for paying much attention.
How can I actually see it?
I See You is currently looking for American distribution, so there is still no release date, but it seems inevitable that it will arrive in theaters at some point. Just don't exchange it for the other publication of 2019 called I See You (on a vlogger who accidentally captures the crimes on the camera), or in 2016 I See You (a Bollywood novel about a man in love with an apparent ghost), or 2016 I See You.com (about a teenager who gets rich by filming her family's bad behavior and broadcasting it online ). In fact, don't be hugely surprised if this is eventually released with a more distinctive title.