See For Me (2021) IFC Films

Directed By: Randall Okita

Starring: Skylar Davenport, Kim Coates, Jessica Parker Kennedy

Plot Summary: Sophie, a young blind woman, house-sitting at a secluded mansion, finds herself under invasion by thieves seeking a hidden safe. Her only means of defense: a new app called “See For Me”. It connects her to a volunteer across the country who helps her survive by seeing on her behalf. Sophie is connected to Kelly, an army veteran who spends her days playing first-person shooter games. Sophie is forced to learn that if she’s going to survive the night, she’ll need all the help she can get. A blind teenage girl who ends up being not so powerless after all.

Randall Okita’s See for Me, on paper feels like a run-of-the-mill home invasion movie with a visually impaired protagonist. This set up is similar to Mike Flanagan’s 2016 film Hush, only with someone who is hearing impaired and mute. Therefore, I have to say that my knee-jerk reaction was a groan. I sincere hoped that this wasn’t a derivative or variation on that theme. Thankfully, Okita does a fine job at taking an incredibly well-worn formula and peppering enough twists and turns to keep its audience on a razors edge. On a technical level, you can tell that a lot of thought and care went into crafting tense set pieces. This ever-tightening feeling of claustrophobia is thanks in part to well thought out cinematography and moody lighting. One of the big draws is the character of Sophie (Skylar Davenport), who sways between bitter, cynical, and life-hardened visually impaired woman to savvy survivor. Yet, she is allowed to be vulnerable when called for. Sophie has a nice overall arc though the finale felt a bit predictable but, a final twist left me feeling incredibly satisfied.

While the entire cast is strong, it’s Skylar Davenport who truly dazzles in the lead role. See for Me is a dream come true to an actor wanting to showcase their entire acting range. Davenport wisely seizes her moment and, in my opinion, is the key factor in pulling everything together. As much as I enjoyed the film it does suffer from plot conveniences, gaps in logic, and though it subverts tropes, it also leans on hard on them at times. Its out of the box enough to be interesting, but sadly it limits its own narrative.

See For Me just narrowly misses out on being a masterpiece. Sadly though, its aspects of its plot feel saggy and underdeveloped. Still, the movie is just different enough to be interesting and Davenport truly brings this film together in a big way.

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