“We are only as blind as we want to be.” Powerful quote from a powerful woman. Sophie (Skyler Davenport) is still adjusting to her blindness. Once a world class teenage skier, she has become bristly and angered at her reality now, slipping into depression and reticent to continue her athletic training for the Paralympics.

Sophie takes side jobs housesitting for wealthy people, her latest secured gig placing her in an upstate New York mansion catsitting for a recent divorcée. A minor goof forces her to download an app that she did not want to in See for Me, a 24/7 help desk of sorts that allows the impaired person to receive their own set of eyes through the other person on their phone screen; in this case, Kelly (Jessica Parker Kennedy). Kelly is a good person, and Sophie ends up saving her on speed dial. Good call, because not long after her goof, three intruders invade the home she’s sitting for, after—you guessed it, something valuable in the house. Sophie is in danger, and the only person who can help her get out is Kelly.

We’ve done this before, right? Variations of it, sure. Whether that be the Don’t Breathe movies, Hush, or even an inversion in the form of A Quiet Place, some home invasion movies have added protagonistic/antagonistic impairment elements to breathe new energy into the genre. Enter See for Me, focusing on a blind protagonist as she deals with unwanted intruders.

Providing a different visual element to this genre story is director Randall Okita. The in-film titular application is very reminiscent of the real-life “Be My Eyes.” The virtual eyes allow Okita to meld a few moments that are meta in nature (in this case, screen within a screen), and this does lend some flair to the feature. As one could surmise, this takes place predominantly in one location. An underrated aspect of good home invasions is the architecture of the house itself; for it has to be spacious enough to have ample space for the hunted to hide, but not be so voluminous that the hunted are more safe than not from the pursuing threat.

The house in See for Me falls on the end of the latter description, which is symptomatic of the movie’s biggest flaw—it is more tepid than thrilling. Sadly, the threat(s) at hand never feel that dangerous, victims themselves to the house they’ve chosen to raid, and they as thieves sound and operate as if they’re on the C/D list of home robbers. Script-wise (co-written by Adam Yorke and Tommy Gushue), there is a nice third act twist that adds a small level of detailed intertwined depth, but only small because the characters outside of Sophie are not fleshed out enough to see the other side of the story.

Muddled morality is a fairly significant theme of the story, and See for Me uses this to give murky substance to its lead character played by Davenport. You know the stereotypes, those who have significant ailments are incapable of not only doing things on their own, but missing layers and sometimes looked at as being the epitome of good and incapable of being morally questionable…if not morally wrong. Skyler is written to be semi-unlikable, rationalizing her predicament to allow her to steal from people she’s supposed to be housesitting for. Sometimes I actively hated Sophie, but she felt real.

Maybe that is because Davenport is Sophie to an extent. Legally blind, on the spectrum, and identifying as non-binary, the adjustments Sophie is attempting to navigate are ones Davenport is and has navigated in their life, so their performance comes from lived-in life experience. On the other side of the screen her character uses is Kennedy, who does a fine job with the character writing hints as having a tragic Army background that compels her to help Sophie how she does.

Squint hard enough here and one can see the outline of a really good home invasion flick with some unique aspects and a cogent lead performance. The realization is, See for Me does enough to fill a genre craving while not doing enough to leave much lasting impact.


Photo credits go to impawards.com, thesnipenews.com, and deadline.com.

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