See For Me (2022) Is Another “Woman In Peril” Horror You Need to See to Believe
Title: See For Me
First Non-Festival Release: January 7, 2022 (Digital/Streaming Platforms)
Director: Randall Okita
Writer: Adam Yorke, Tommy Gushue
Runtime: 92 Minutes
Starring: Skyler Davenport, Laura Vandervoot, Jessica Parker Kennedy
Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here
Blinded by an accident, former pre-Olympic skier, Sophie (Skyler Davenport), makes the long journey to a huge mansion in the middle of the woods for her job as a cat sitter. She dodges plenty of irritating encounters from her well-intentioned yet persistent mother who worries about her taking these jobs by herself. Sophie is determined to be self-sufficient and disregards her mother’s anxieties. Thanks to an accidental lockout, Sophie downloads an app called ‘See For Me’ where she meets Kelly (Jessica Parker Kennedy), a helpful gamer currently working as an admin in the army. The pair bond quickly after resolving one issue but will learn to rely on each other even more when a trio of robbers break into the mansion that night.
See For Me captivates with its bonkers premise and fantastic leading performance while delivering plenty of heist horror hijinks.
Brusque and icy to the world around her, Sophie’s steely exterior puts others at a distance. In an effort to maintain a façade of complete control of her life, Sophie intentionally reacts with disdain at the idea of giving up control. Ever since the accident that took her sight, Sophie has had her entire world changed, causing her to go from accomplished athlete to someone who relies on others to show her where a door is or what kind of wine she is about to drink. It’s clear she resents this. This feeds into her choices and her arc as a character.
In fact, the best part of See For Me is Sophie’s journey of learning to accept help. Sure, the wide-open filmmaking techniques that capture the nail-biting suspense scenes are great, but they would be nothing without Sophie’s transformation. From the beginning, we know that Sophie is determined, headstrong, and selfish. This informs how she initially responds to the terrifying situation of getting caught in a home invasion. Accepting help from Carla is one that isn’t met with praise or thanks but more of reluctant necessity. Sophie despises that she needs help, but learning that she can trust Carla to guide her, shifts something inside her that helps her abandon that all-or-nothing mentality.
The coolest part of her arc isn’t that she “becomes a good person” in the end but rather that she learns to rely on others around her to make the best of bad situations. It’s a refreshing take on morality that doesn’t condescend to or infantilize Sophie. Davenport’s shrewd portrayal of Sophie is what largely makes their character one to question regarding her motives while still rooting for her in the end. This sort of representation is really refreshing when it comes to blind people in entertainment as it balances Sophie’s agency in what she can accomplish with her disability and how far she go push herself to go above and beyond in a situation that calls for it.
There isn’t much new here beyond the gimmick of Sophie relying on Carla to see for her. The relationship between the two feels genuine and earned, especially after the first time they click when solving a problem together. Director Randall Okita deftly frames the situation as one that is rooted in realism everywhere except the actual premise. That goes out the door a few times when Sophie is forced to navigate situations on her own that really do defy logic. She manages to handle it in an almost justifiable way, but it verges on the silly after too many choices that feel like a reach. The supporting cast gets shafted in terms of development and the villains feel like nothing more than cannon fodder for a trigger-happy Carla using Sophie as a proxy.
An unexpected and delightfully fresh addition to the “woman in peril” subgenre of horror, See For Me adds new layers to a well-worn subgenre with mostly success. Davenport leads with incredible finesse and command of the screen as Sophie, giving an authentic and rich performance, likely enhanced by their own visual impairment, which makes every moment feel genuine. See For Me lives and dies by Sophie’s character arc, and Davenport gives us every reason to readjust our expectations on what this character can accomplish. It helps that See For Me is also a ravenously tense film filmed to the brim with impossibly gripping moments that set off every sense. It looks like 2022 is off to a fantastic start thanks to the work done on this must-see horror thriller.
Overall Score? 7/10