Home-invasion thrillers are a tried-and-true resource for entertaining cinema. They can often build enjoyable tension and uneasiness for viewers, and with a few small tweaks to the formula, something unique can be the result. Director Randall Okita hopes to deliver that with his newest film “See for Me”.
Starring Skyler Davenport, this story centers on Sophie, a young woman with a once promising future as a professional skier. Her life quickly spiraled after a rare retinal disease took her vision and to make ends meet, she takes jobs as a house sitter for people on vacation. Her newest assignment is to stay at a secluded mountain home for a rich divorcée. A seemingly normal gig. Until a trio of burglar’s break-in looking for the safe filled with cash, and this is where the natural suspense of the storyline delivers some appeal.
The story starts out like many. A quick intro to our protagonist, complete with a brief backstory. Here we can clearly see Sophie is in a rut after losing her vision ended her career. She steals small items from the homes she visits for pocket cash, and the first act effectively sets the stage for where this character from a mental state
So, with a quick pace, it isn’t long before this movie brings us into the home that will serve as the playground for tiptoeing around in the shadows as the story progresses. It is all a bit by-the-numbers for the genre, but I do think a couple of the twists this script adds does inject a bit of fresh appeal, in what would otherwise be a routine thriller. The lead character being blind increases the stakes nicely and the incorporation of this app called See for Me that blind people can use for assistance when needed is a nice wrinkle for adding another character to the emotional mix of this tension-filled night.
Together these two characters will have to evade imminent danger and it does result in plenty of enjoyable spots of unnerving cinema. It weaves in spots of effective misdirection. And sure, there are a couple of plot-holes, and a few conveniences that get in the way at times. Some of the decisions the main character makes along the way can also be a bit frustrating. But overall, the performances were very good for the needs of the roles. Davenport works the material well and infuses it with her own emotional energy, and Kennedy delivers plenty of charisma in her supporting role.
“See for Me” isn’t a film that will blow you away, and it may not have much rewatch value. But for a tightly paced home-invasion thriller that can have you feeling the suspense of the moment, in a real-time progression, this one will do the trick. It slices in spots of mild unpredictability along the way and while some of these story layers could’ve been better developed, it all works together to create a thrilling night filled with delightfully unsettling moments, and a solid lead character to root for.
Anthony J. Digioia II © 2022 SilverScreen Analysis. All Rights Reserved.
I have always loved a good Thriller, a film that gets your heart racing and keeps you on the edge of your seat. From the moment I picked up the script for SEE FOR ME, I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough. It is a wonderfully crafted, compelling story that challenges our misconceptions about the visually impaired while proving to be a hell of a thrill ride at the same time.
SEE FOR ME is the story of Sophie, who lost her vision to a rare degenerative disease that derailed her dreams of competing in the Olympics as a downhill skier. The loss of her sight was devastating. She was poked and prodded, scanned, scoped, tested and eventually, told that the way she used to see, well, that wasn’t coming back. Then, she was told the thing she loved the most, the thing that made her who she was, well that was gone too, gone for good. But here’s the thing: Sophie doesn’t give up easily. She’s a fighter, and when these men break into her home she is not the powerless victim they expect her to be, and they will learn just how much they have underestimated her strength and resilience.
This project is a special one. I’ve always been drawn to films about the underdog, especially when these films can amplify stories featuring characters often overlooked or marginalized. Sophie is a unique and powerful character presenting audiences with a visually impaired person in a way that we have not seen before on screen. Part of the reason I was so drawn to the project was to have the opportunity to work with the incredibly talented Skyler Davenport, who brought their own real life experience with adult onset vision loss to the performance.
When Sophie’s space is invaded and her life is threatened, we slowly learn – as she does – what she is really made of. We see that she is smart, resourceful, and eventually, a fatal threat to those who underestimate her. As desperation sets in, she finds an unexpected ally in Kelly, a dormant hero in need of her own healing who helps her stay safe.
Sophie is no victim, she will overcome her attackers and prove to be a formidable opponent in this cat and mouse game, and she will learn to never underestimate herself again.