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Tribeca Review: “See for Me” Is Thrilling, Clever and Delivers a Fresh New Thriller Experience

Written by: Adam Vaughn | June 21st, 2021

“See for Me” director Randall Okita

See for Me (Randall Okita, 2021) 3 out of 4 stars.

Director Randall Okita’s See for Me is a fun exploration of a home-invasion storyline, only this time with a twist: protagonist Sophie (Skyler Davenport) is a blind cat-sitter who’s still learning her surroundings as much as are the burglars. Sophie’s main defense is an accessibility app called “See For Me,” with customer-service operator Kelly (Jessica Parker Kennedy, The CW’s The Flash series) guiding her as she navigates the elegant but intricate home, fighting for her life against ruthless burglars. The concept and premise are the movie’s strongest components and make Sophie a unique and headstrong individual, with a background and personality that make her determined to operate as much by herself as possible.

Many of the other characters are written very dynamically, complementing each other in scenes that range from humorous (mostly through Sophie, endowed with dry humor) to serious. The script comes with a grounded sense of believable twists and turns, and in only a few places feel exaggerated or unconvincing. Both in its visuals and editing, See for Me uses various compositions and cuts to create aesthetically pleasing suspense.

As creative as See for Me gets, once the concept has gotten off the ground and the story begins, the narrative starts to take a more conventional and generic form. Major scenes meant to tie up loose ends do so in too much of a fantastic way, and we start to get moments that are clichéd, classic horror/thriller tropes that depart from the film’s originality. At no point does See for Me reach any deeper meaning in its story, aside from developing Sophie as a blind person with an edge.

Skyler Davenport in SEE FOR ME ©Randall Okita

While director Okita’s film may not be any more than the next edition of the standard thriller/suspense tale, it very much does justice to its concept, as well as to the fun and engaging execution of the narrative. It’s worth it alone to see the performances by Davenport and Parker Kennedy, not to mention Kim Coates (FX’s Sons of Anarchy series), Joe Pingue (Netflix’s Godless series), voiceover artist Pascal Langdale and stuntman George Tchortov. When you add on the bleak and shadowy style and well-paced action, See for Me is tremendous fun, even with a slightly underwhelming story.

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Adam Vaughn is a graduate of the Film & Moving Image program at Stevenson University, with a focus in Cinematography and Production. He also has a minor in Theater and Media Performance. Adam works as a freelance photographer and videographer, focusing his craft on creating compelling photographic and cinematic imagery. Adam is excited to join the Film Festival Today team and explore the world of cinema and visual arts.

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