Like “Don’t Breathe,” “Birdbox” and “A Quiet Place,” “See for Me,” a new thriller directed by Randall Okita, and now on VOD, finds its suspense in the loss of a sense. In this case Skyler Davenport plays Sophie, once an Olympic level Alpine skier until an accident left her visually impaired, pitted against an enemy she can’t see.
The house in question is a rambling mansion, located in the middle of nowhere, with a well-stocked wine cellar and more importantly, a secret safe filled with cash and jewels. Sophie landed the housesitting gig because she was the first one to answer the ad and despite not being able to see is able to do the job thanks to technology. An app called See for Me connects her with a remote set of eyes, in this case belonging to Kelly (Jessica Parker Kennedy), who guides here through the home. Sophie’s tenacity coupled with Kelly’s experience as a war vet and gamer, are put to the test when three very bad people break in, looking for the home’s hidden treasures. “There’s people in the house,” Sophie whispers into the app. “I heard their voices.”
“See for Me” isn’t so much a horror film, although there are some uneasy, violent moments, as it is a game of cat-and-mouse with elements that will keep you guessing throughout. Screenwriters Adam Yorke and Tommy Gushue keep the twists coming hard-and-fast, but also add in a dollop of moral ambiguity.
Sophie’s situation is complicated, she’s angry that retinitis pigmentosa took away her chance at Olympic glory, and, in need of money, isn’t afraid to bend some rules to the point of breaking. That adds a psychological layer to the character and the story that gives the story—essentially the same kind of home invasion tale we’ve seen many times before—a fresh angle to explore.
The inclusive casting of visually impaired actor Davenport, brings authenticity to the role. Even when we see the twists coming—of course she has a low battery on her phone, the lifeline to Kelly—Davenport keeps the character and the story compelling.
“See for Me” is an effective thriller that build tension as the psychological drama ramps up. We’ve seen several of these elements before, the sensory loss, the first-person shooter shtick and the home invasion angle, but director Randall Okita brings them together in a persuasive package.