See for Me [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - RLJ Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Eric Cotenas (11th July 2022).
The Film

After her vision deteriorated to no more than light perception, former Under-18 skiing star Sophie Scott (voice actress Skyler Davenport) gave up her Olympic hopes. Finding the concern of her mother (Saw V's Natalie Brown) smothering, Sophie slips away to a lucrative cat-sitting job in snowy upstate New York in the chalet of gay divorcee Debra (the Rabid remake's Laura Vandervoort). Such jobs are surprisingly not few and far between for a blind girl, and Sophie has been supplementing her pay by lifting expensive objects she believes the owners will not miss and selling them with the help of fellow athlete Cam (Keaton Kaplan) who acts as her remote eyes, helping her navigate the uneven terrain of the multi-level mountainside home and case the joint. Cam's conscience has been getting the better of him, however, and Sophie cuts him off mid-argument just before she manages to lock herself outside in the cold. She reluctantly downloads the mom-recommended app "See for Me" and is surprised as much by sighted remote helper Kelly's (The Flash's Jessica Parker Kennedy) no-nonsense approach in guiding her and her expertise in helping her "break" back into the house. What Sophie does not know is that Kelly is a former army ranger and her skills will come in handy in guiding Sophie when a trio of professional thieves (Killjoys' Pascal Langdale, stuntman George Tchortov, and Godless' Joe Pingue) break into the house to crack a hidden safe with the help of their own remote "guide" who may be even more of a danger to Sophie when she must take literal shots in the dark to defend herself.

One of the many small genre projects produced during the pandemic with small casts and single locations that have received wider exposure because of those production circumstances, See fir Me is a rehash of various blind woman in peril thrillers along the lines of Wait Until Dark and See No Evil with a high-tech update but nevertheless a rehash. Twists are telegraphed through throwaway dialogue that is too on-the-nose and there is a real dearth of suspense during the underexposed cat-and-mouse theatrics in spite of the novelty of the remote helper whose video point-of-view from Sophie's phone resembles that of the first person shooter games she is seen playing with other remote friends in between calls. The film works best during intimate exchanges between Sophie and other characters including Kelly her epiphany that she should be on the slopes training with a guide rather than stealing from her house-sitting clients sounds less silly aloud than on paper because of the chemistry between the two leads as well as a police officer (Hemlock Grove's Emily Piggford) who responds to Sophie's home invasion call and refreshingly remains skeptical when Sophie tries to get rid of her. There is unfortunately too little of this amidst stalk and kill scenes in which the thieves are too easily subdued. The character-related twists are not so much subversive as cheeky thanks to an all-too-predictable character arc. See for Me's production values and technical aspects are as high as one has come to expect from the subset of American-set, shot-in-Canada films that have been part of the genre since the nineties but the novel elements are really not enough to distinguish it from its superior blind-woman-in-peril forbears.

Video

Digitally-photographed and graded, See for Me's 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.40:1 widescreen encode has a neutral to bluish lean in fitting with the chilly settings. Fine detail can be good in rare moments of emphasis on textures and items, but the film overall favors shallow depth-of-field to underscore the isolation of the character and the limitations of her perspective. Darker scenes are murky and one wonders how much of that is the grade and the degree to which the image was underexposed on the set.

Audio

Audio options include a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and, fittingly, a Descriptive Audio track in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo. The mix makes good use of the discreet surround sound stage with offscreen sounds drawing the attention of the protagonist and other characters. Optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles are included.

Extras

Apart from start-up trailers, there are absolutely no extras, which is unfortunate for a pandemic-era film featuring a legally-blind star.

Overall

See for Me's production values and technical aspects are as high as one has come to expect from the subset of American-set, shot-in-Canada films that have been part of the genre since the nineties but the novel elements are really not enough to distinguish it from its superior blind-woman-in-peril forbears.

 


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