I Can See You (2008)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
A weekend brainstorming trip into the wilderness sets three aspiring ad men on the trail to terror in this brain-twisting horror film from writer/director Graham Reznick. Their assignment was to overhaul the image of Claractix, a once-popular household cleaner. The trip takes a turn for the worse, however, when one of the men's girlfriends disappears, personalities contort, and a specter from Claractix's past campaigns makes a surprise appearance.
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Critic Reviews for I Can See You
Reznick's sound design effectively jangles nerves, and two setpieces trumpet his visual prowess: a languid lovemaking scene lit by indirect flashlight and a tour-de-force musical number.
There's no way to explain that until you see the movie, which goes from comic-realistic mode into full-on psycho meltdown with more terrifying adroitness than any other movie of this decade.
The filmmaker Graham Reznick arrives with a bang in his feature debut, the experimental horror film I Can See You.
The sensory disorientation climaxes in a freakout that wipes all your troubles away, as well as anything else lying around in your head.
Audience Reviews for I Can See You
A nearsighted, neurotic photographer goes into the woods with his buddies to get nature shots for an ad campaign, and his mind snaps after he falls in love with a hippie girl he meets at a bonfire. The story is a bit lightweight, but the film's technical acumen and incredible psychedelic montages make up for it. This is not your typical horror/slasher-in-the-woods film by a long shot; the last twenty minutes is an extended hallucination that may well blow your socks off.More
*** out of ****
Graham Reznick is probably best known as the sound designer for wonderful films such as "The House of the Devil" and "The Innkeepers" (both for Ti West, and both distributed by Larry Fessenden's Glass Eye Pix, the dirty devils who arguably help get some of the most interesting independently-made horror genre pictures out there). We all know that cinematographers have the potential to make visionary directors, but how well will a sound designer fare whilst calling the shots? Reznick's "I Can See You" more or less answers the question without necessarily seeking to. Neither Reznick nor his film can speak for all the sound designers of America, but from what I gather, he's a very emotive filmmaker who shows promise as an artist who favors the more decidedly unconventional methods of storytelling such as pure feeling over narrative and characters.
So you've been warned. "I Can See You" is about a trio of young ad-men (and the girlfriend of one of them, who I think might be a sort of secretary) for the once-mighty household cleaning product Claractix. They're sent out into the wilderness to do some provocative photography that will hopefully restore the image of both the product and its spokesman, Mickey Hauser (Fessenden, who likes to make cameo appearances or play roles in just about all of the films he helps distribute). When they get out there, one of the first things the group does is attend a late-night campfire party with some hippies that they barely know. One member of the manly trio, a very hippie-like character named Richards played by Ben Dickinson, even gets lucky with a pretty girl named Summer Day (Heather Robb).
But once this pleasant night has passed, the next day just brings more trouble. No, Ben does not awake to Summer Day gone from his side; but rather when they decide to take a swim somewhere deeper in the woods, they seem a whole lot more distant than they were the night before (their lovemaking was passionate and tender...and trippy as hell). Then Summer Day runs off with Doug (Duncan Skiles), leaving Richards alone with Kimble (Christopher Ford) and his girlfriend Sonia (Olivia Villanti). It's when Richards decides to go searching for Doug and Summer that his personal descent into madness begins and we realize that this is, at the core, surrealistic horror in perhaps its purest form.
For the first hour or so, it's a slow-burn picture; and the horror is almost indistinguishable from drama. By the end of it all, you might not want to try to classify "I Can See You" as anything other than itself. It's a twisty, weird, wickedly unconventional head-trip of a movie; like David Lynch crossed paths with "Wrong Turn" and/or "Blue Sunshine". Richards' increasingly nightmarish hallucinatory experiences are very compellingly conveyed due to Reznick's obviously tight grasp on completely distorting reality through sound and sight as well as the employment of a few classic genre clichés. This is not necessarily a pretty-looking film, but it really doesn't have to be. Everything leading up to the epic downwards spiral into delirium feels so real that it almost comes off as unnatural in comparison to the rest of the picture, which ultimately gives it its identity.
It's a fascinating little genre picture that will certainly upset a lot of people, especially those who want to "get" everything that they see in a film (many have called this pretentious and self-indulgent indie trash); but I recommend it to those who are open to something different, ambitious, and unable to give a fuck about what those naysayers think of it. You know who you are. By no means did I find it perfect, but it's chock-full of interesting imagery and the psychologically demeaning mood is essentially consistent. I enjoyed it as something experimental and unique rather than complete; I think if Reznick keeps making more feature films, he may someday make a film that develops real characters rather than these disposable ones. But he's made a picture that is still far more entertaining than most horror films of the past decade simply because it understands the value in suspense and extensive, sometimes obsessive and over-the-top mood-setting.
More like I Can See Poo. And the poo is this movie. Just terrible. We got about 20 minutes of movie and an hour and a half of padding. Plus acoustic guitar music straight from the bowels of hell. Maybe this was originally intended as a short film, but then was stretched well beyond he breaking point to make a feature. And I don't have a problem with slow moving movies, my love for Ti West's stuff and Gerry, etc, etc, but this is just plain boring. Nature footage and jump cuts do not make a movie. And that dreaded acoustic guitar. Seriously, avoid at all costs.More
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