Monday, April 4, 2022

See for Me (2022)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: See for Me (2022)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Length: 93 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Wildling Pictures, Dutch FilmWorks, IFC Midnight, Inopia Films, levelFILM. Shudder
Director: Randall Okita
Writers: Adam Yorke, Tommy Gushue
Actors: Skyler Davenport, Kim Coates, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Laura Vandervoort, George Tchortov, Joe Pingue, Keaton Kaplan,  Matthew Gouveia, Emily Piggford, Pascal Langdale
IMDb Blurb: When blind former skier Sophie cat-sits in a secluded mansion, three thieves invade for the hidden safe. Sophie's only defense is army veteran Kelly. Kelly helps Sophie defend herself against the invaders and survive.

Cat’s Point of View:
I was really excited when See for Me was announced to hit Shudder this month. It had landed on my Top 20 Movies to Look Out For in January 2022 list at an impressive #6 spot. My takeaway from experiencing See for Me was fairly on point for what I was expecting after I watched the trailer.
Speaking of…I think we need to take a moment to appreciate that trailer a bit. A big hearty thank you goes out to those responsible for putting that together. It was an excellent tease for the premise of See for Me and it didn’t give away the twists or the ending.
I have so many feelings to unpack with this film that it’s hard to pick a place to start.
While I don’t have the same physical limitations as Sophie in See for Me, I can seriously empathize with her situation. It’s a frustrating learning curve to flip from being a capable able-bodied person who enjoys doing All The Things to someone who has to reinvent how to accomplish the basic tasks in life. Dealing with people who simply don’t know how to handle offering assistance in an appropriate way so it comes across as condescension is a big pet peeve. Of course, there are others that legitimately just want to help but aren’t sure where to draw the line between assistance and coddling. While I may not have experienced the more extreme ends of that in my MS journey, I can vividly imagine what that might look like if I were not a sighted person. MS is known to go for the optical nerves often, so it’s a worry that I do live with – I could wake up without vision tomorrow. (Knock on wood.) I digress…

Even with all that said, I believe that See for Me pulled me into the story in a way that just about anyone could understand Sophie’s frustration and drive for independence.
Let’s talk technology. That was one of my points in the Top 20 spot that I was geeking out about. So many times we see movies shying away from incorporating tech. Phones mysteriously, or conveniently, fail to have service, and issues of the like strip away that element of modern everyday life. It makes it harder to buy-in to some narratives. Here, technology was embraced front and center. The name of the movie is actually the phone app that the crux of the story is framed around.
As I mentioned before, there is an actual app that exists already that does this exact thing. Be My Eyes connects a visually impaired person using the app with a sighted volunteer through a video call to provide sighted assistance when needed. I found that absolutely amazing.

In this way, See for Me is bringing awareness to apps like these that are a great help and I’m here for it. The production is also shining a light into the literal darkness that is the void of accurate representation of people with physical limitations in cinema.
Have I mentioned that the lead, Skyler Davenport (One Piece, Kakegurui, Welcome to Demon-School Iruma-kun), is visually impaired, themselves? They lost their vision in 2012 due to a sudden medical issue. Their real-life parallels the role in See for Me in that they didn’t let that stand in their way. I didn’t even realize that when I put this movie on my Top 20. Now I’m even more impressed with their performance.
I loved the dynamic between Sophie and the See for Me app volunteer played by Jessica Parker Kennedy (The Secret Circle, Black Sails, The Flash). The rest of the cast met expectations and I didn’t really have any faults with the acting here. The production quality was also on point, utilizing the gorgeous location well.

The level of tension just ramps up the minute you realize what’s about to happen with the home invasion and it really doesn’t let up until you get to the other side of the climax. That was what I signed up for and See for Me delivered in spades.
There’s a twist involved, as I mentioned – and I didn’t see it coming at all. It made me squirm a little. Don’t worry, though, it wasn’t anything unpleasantly graphic. In fact, while See for Me is technically unrated by the MPAA, it could pass for PG-13. There aren’t a lot of expletives, there’s very little blood, a general absence of gore, and zero sexual content.
I do believe that See for Me is something I wouldn’t mind watching again. You can catch it on Shudder starting Thursday, April 7th.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 79%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 66%
Metascore – 59%
Metacritic User Score – 7.0/10
IMDB Score – 5.8/10
Trust the Dice: Parental Guidance Rating – PG-13
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5

P.S. - If you're interested in information about apps such as Be My Eyes or others for the visually impaired, I found a nifty list of some good ones here.
Movie Trailer:

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