Richards, Doug and Kimble are three friends who run their own advertising firm and the pressure is on to deliver the goods for a corporation that's trying to improve their image after an environmental disaster. They decide to go on a camping trip to collect images of nature themselves to make their campaign work. Seems like the right thing to do but after a few people go missing reality starts to break loose for these friends and their idyllic trip becomes a nightmare of bloodshed and hallucinations.
People should honestly stop downloading and return to the days of blind-buying; those glorious days before p2p networks. While partaking in a sale, I grabbed Graham Reznick's debut feature film "I Can See You" even though I had no idea who he was or what his movie was about. The night that I finally watched this movie….it's hard to say, but, well, it changed my life. FOREVER.
Okay, not really. I did purchase "I Can See You" not knowing anything about the movie (and after consulting with Ronny about it, I still knew nothing) and it was a very interesting surprise. The movie is part standard horror and part arthouse experiment with three young men running an advertisement agency head into the woods to work on their latest project. As always, everything seems fine, they even join in on a party being thrown by the locals. Time wears on, reality begins to slip and that's when the nightmare begins.
As vague as the standard home video packaging description sounds that I just wrote, that's all the movie is actually about. The typical setup of kids (young adults) going into the woods and then bad things start to happen. With "I Can See You" it's not about the story but it's about the journey. The slow and uncomfortable journey that descends into absolute madness. From the start, all of the character have something obviously wrong with them -- their attitudes, ticks and quirks are a not-so-subtle clue that these three men aren't exactly on stable ground. With the typical horror scenario of people going into the woods, you also already know what is about to occur in the woods. Or do you?
The apparent direction of the movie creates an feeling of unease because you're left to sit and wait for the inevitable to occur, and Graham takes his time unfold the story. Most of the first half of the movie nothing actually happens -- we sit, we watch and we wait. Who's going to snap? Who's going to get killed? Everyone seems insane, especially Richards, but it could be anyone. Or possibly no one. The slow burn and slow development gnaws at the viewer; I know at some point I was ready to scream at my television, "Jesus fucking Christ, somebody murder someone else already!" Since I thought I knew what this movie wanted to do or was going to do.
"I Can See You" moves at such a slow pace you'll be ready to give up but it's at that moment when it starts to get interesting. One seemingly inconsequential character goes missing and that's when the movie switches from slow burn to experimental cinema that visualizes delusions and nightmares. Richards is our main character and through his eyes we get experience out of focus, psychedelic hallucinations. This is the point where the movie can lose the viewers too as it stops telling a story and starts showing you a story. Fragmented and disjointed images barrage the screen that leave you to try and piece together what's going on and what it all means in the end.
Yes, it's one of those movies where nothing is said and no reasons are given. Is there a reason? Is there more to this story that lies beneath the surface? Did everyone go insane or did just one person kill everybody? There are different interpretations and explanations for the movie, but I don't think there's much more to it than an experiment trying to bring something new and exciting to a tired genre film. To me, what the movie was and is only about is an experiment on a singular theme: perception. Almost every aspect of the movie/story comes back down to the idea of perception: What are the characters perceiving and what are we through them? A little pretentious sounding, sure, but it's not really. As I said, it's a play on a theme which is nothing out of the ordinary in the world of cinema. It's a movie where the filmmaker wants to reshape the idea of what a horror movie is. Certainly nothing wrong with that and certainly something that's need these days. Overall though, its still the traditional story of kids going into the woods and getting killed for it, but with a bit more thought and creativity. I'm still not even sure if I liked "I Can See You" but it was a fascinating watch with some very interesting visuals.