Blind former skier Sophie gets more than she bargains for when house sitting leads to a dangerous home invasion in See for Me. Directed by Randall Okita, See for Me tries to do some new things for the genre, introducing a lot of elements that ramp up the tension and suspense. But with so many balls in the air, the end result can feel confusing, even as the tension keeps the viewer interested.
With Sophie (Skyler Davenport) no longer willing to ski due to her blindness, she feels helpless in her new situation. With her options feeling limited, she now cat-sits to earn extra money and to find a level of independence. She still finds ways to make money independently, including stealing small but expensive items from the people she works with.
This morally grey personality is touched on early in the film, when Sophie and her friend Cam (Keaton Kaplan) argue about stealing from the woman she is working for. This also helps paint Sophie as a more complex character than one could have expected. It gives a look into the facets of her life, and how her blindness creates new challenges in pursuing her passion of skiing. It also plays with the “blind” trope, showing just how Sophie is using expectations against the surrounding people.
Stubborn and having pushed most people close to her away, she tries to find her way around the house she is staying in. She is forced to download the titular See for Me app. A simple concept that gives people who are vision impaired a remote set of eyes using their smartphone. This app connects Sophie with Kelly (Jessica Parker Kennedy), a former servicewoman and gamer who instantly works to overcome the issues facing the young former skier.
This is a great setup, and plays well into the situation and genre, and I had high expectations just judging by these opening minutes. It gives a sense of the danger, the characters we need to care about, and the mental state of Sophie. The issues start to pop up quickly once the home invasion elements are thrown into the mix.
“When See for Me moved into its third act, it moved away from the smart concept…”
Once all the home invaders (George Tchortov, Joe Pingue, Pascal Langdale), and their ring leader Rico (Kim Coates) enter the picture, the morally grey protagonist and the reason for the events of the film start to feel very muddy. While I love that director, Randall Okita, tried to make the invaders a bit more complex than in many movies of this genre, it also makes many of the events that happen later seem forced. It is great to see characters that are not cold-blooded killers, but when that choice makes the rest of the plot fall apart, it starts to feel a bit silly.
Sophie is complex, and her actions skate the line between endearing and frustrating often as the film progresses. It is easy to sympathize with her struggle, but as she starts to fight back due to issues she caused, it often falls flat. When See for Me moved into its third act, it moved away from the smart concept to dangerously close to b-movie schlock for my liking. Combine that with the ridiculous concept that Kelly could use the phone app to help Sophie shoot her way out of a home invasion, and See for Me pushes my “suspend disbelief” meter all the way past 11.
Even with these flaws, there is a lot to like in See for Me. The acting of Skyler Davenport is fantastic, giving what could have been a flat character in Sophie, a level of depth and care that was needed. The cinematography was also stunning, giving a sense of space while also making even the biggest areas feel claustrophobic and filled with danger. It all makes See for Me a worthwhile watch, even if the story can get lost.
See for Me takes a simple concept and almost elevates it to something far more exciting. With good acting and a great setup, there is a lot to sink your teeth into with this home invasion thriller, even if it does stumble in its third act.