Canadian home invasion thriller See For Me pits a blind woman against a group of dangerous thieves with nothing but her wits and a cellphone to protect her. Directed by Randall Okita and co-written with Tommy Gushue (The Lockpicker), the film celebrated its world premiere at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival as part of the At Home digital library for film fans to take in the Tribeca experience whether or not they live in the New York area.
See For Me stars Skyler Davenport (Salem) as Sophie, a young blind woman still coming to grips with her sight loss after being named one of the most promising competitive skiers. Bitter that such a tragedy has befallen her, she’s been putting off her paralympic training, and instead, taking on pet sitting jobs for cash. She makes her way around strangers’ homes via video calls with friends and when they’re unavailable, the “See For Me” app. On the other end of the app is Kelly (Jessica Parker Kennedy, The Flash), an army veteran and gamer, acting as Sophie’s eyes. Sophie calls Kelly for help after she locks herself outside, but things get very serious when Sophie finds two strangers in the house at night.
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“You don’t need me to tell you that dropping a blind girl into an active robbery is a recipe for suspense but…”
I love home invasion movies. Especially when that home invasion is also a heist. Oooooo there’s nothing sweeter than that Home Invasion + Heist combo! These movies are all about suspense and how each film builds (and in many cases builds on top of) that suspense is what really sets them apart. Your Becky‘s, your Panic Rooms, your Don’t Breathe‘s- they all surprise their characters with a situation that can’t possibly handle, and a group of unpredictable, possibly dangerous bad guys. And you just know one of them is a psychopath that’s gonna ruin the whole job for everybody when he suddenly kills someone he really shouldn’t. Let’s call this surprise maniac Gary. Isn’t Gary the worst? Can’t he just not?? Make no mistake, See For Me has a Gary of it’s own, and (guess what?) he runs a mess all over what was supposed to be an easy job the way only a Gary can.
Another Home Invasion Heist
™ must-have is the classic sneak-through-the-house-without-letting-the-thieves-see-or-hear-you segment. It’s a lot like a car chase but everyone is taking corners very slowly, and instead of jumping bridges you’re hiding in a utility room trying desperately not to sneeze. You don’t need me to tell you that dropping a blind girl into an active robbery is a recipe for suspense but there’s no underselling how stressful even the simplest of tasks is for this poor girl. Sure, she has Kelly on call like a game show lifeline but there are whole chunks of this movie where Sophie is without her phone and left to deal with these crooks (don’t forget about Gary!) all by herself.
“See For Me may not blow the minds of your pretentious friends but I’ll be damned if it isn’t one hell of a stressful good time.”
Cops are also an important detour in any self-respecting HIH. When they show up, how they show up, and whether or not they save day is all part of the artistry of the subgenre. Sophie wastes no time calling the cops but- uh oh– it’s going to take upwards of 30 minutes before anyone can make their way out to her (because you never waste the opportunity to drop a good ticking clock scenario in your Home Invasion Heist). How See For Me handles the police problem is unique and specific to who these characters are, and don’t you just love it when something as cut and dry as cops-and-robbers can still surprise you.
See For Me may not blow the minds of your pretentious friends but I’ll be damned if it isn’t one hell of a stressful good time. And I hope I’m not spoiling too much when I say that the 10,000 hours of playtime Kelly’s has put into first-person shooters comes in real handy when Sophie finally gets her hands on a gun! So few films these days are built on a bedrock of suspense and while See For Me may retread some of your existing favorites, those tropes and those setpieces are never not a kickass night at the movies. Anything that can remind me that I have a heart in my chest by trying to get it to leap out of my body is worth 90 minutes of my time.
Randall Okita’s See For Me celebrated it’s World Premiere at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. Click HERE to follow our full coverage of the festival and be sure to let us know what you would do if you woke up to find a group of criminals in your home over on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and in the official Nightmare on Film Street Discord. Not a social media fan? Get more horror delivered straight to your inbox by joining the Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter.