SEE FOR ME Review – Canadian Thrills
See For Me is 2022 thriller directed by Randall Okita and written by Adam Yorke and Tommy Gushue.
The film stars Skyler Davenport, Pascal Langdale, Joe Pingue, George Tchortov, Natalie Brown, Emily Piggford, Jessica Parker-Kennedy, Laura Vandervoort and Kim Coates.
It is a Wilding Pictures and Di Brin Film production. See For Me is produced with the participation of Telefilm Canada and Ontario Creates
Sophie, a young blind woman, house-sitting at a secluded mansion, finds herself under invasion by thieves seeking a hidden safe. Her only means of defense: a new app called “See For Me”. It connects her to a volunteer across the country who helps her survive by seeing on her behalf. Sophie is connected to Kelly, an army veteran who spends her days playing first person shooter games. Sophie is forced to learn that if she’s going to survive the night, she’ll need all the help she can get. A blind teenage girl who ends up being not so powerless after all.
Short Synopsis – SEE FOR ME
This review contains some spoilers.
The home invasion genre is a reasonably common one but See for Me has some unique ideas. It pulls off most of them and definitely held my interest all the way through. An unlikeable protagonist who it is hard to root for helps keep things fresh as well.
Not Your Average Protagonist
The first interesting choice here is the backstory of the protagonist. You don’t really hear ‘former Olympic athlete’ in a thriller like this. It definitely works as we learn about what Sophie is made of and what she feels she has lost.
If you have an even passing interest in sports/athletics you will have seen an interview or two where an athlete talks about their future outside of competition. She was the next big thing and then stopped not even by an injury but betrayed by her body.
Whether you judge her for what we found out she does on these assignments or how she first tries to deal with things is up to you. I give her some slack initially because it was pretty clear that she was in a lot of danger.
Her sight loss is a major part of her journey but it is refreshing that it is not something that makes her a victim. Instead it is just an aspect of her that she uses to her benefit. Not something seen when featuring a main character with a disability and I am glad that it is here.
The Guilt Ridden Soldier
Kelly remains a bit of a mystery to us. We get some insight we learn that she is active military currently in a desk role after seeing action. I actually looked up what a combat engineer was to get a better idea but beyond that we know that she felt she made a mistake on tour that likely cost lives. I can’t help liking the way she doesn’t take crap from Sophie but still treats her like an independent person.
Cool and calm seems to be at her core as well as driven. The way she tracked Sophie’s general whereabouts down to make sure the police responded. Then refusing to take no for an answer was inspiring. Where others may have felt powerless being so far away she wasn’t deterred.
Just an Easy Job
The initial three villains are honestly the low point of the film as they are just too generic. Nothing about them is any different from any film even remotely similar in theme and given that the film is split mostly been them and Sophie that is a bit of a let down.
There are some familiar faces to be seen in this made in Canada thriller. Lauren Vandervoort (V-Wars) plays homeowner Debra who we find has her own secrets. It is more of a guest star role but great to see her here. Jessica Parker Kennedy (The Flash) appears as Kelly the Combat Engineer on desk duty. She does a great job guiding Sophie though the former skier only listens half the time.
The biggest name is Kim Coates (Pretty Hard Cases) who shows up for a turn as the mysterious Big Bad who turns out to be an angry ex-husband. Also a shoutout for Emily Piggford (The Sounds) who turns up in a very tension filled moment that you know isn’t going to end well.
Heroes & Villains
Something that I considered while digesting the film’s ending is whether I was fooled by my expectations. A blind girl against three home invaders it would seem clear who the good guys and bad guys are. Now I think I got it wrong initially, Kelly (and Deputy Brooks) is the good guy for me and Sophie is just the one bad guy left standing/holding the money. Let me know what you think.