2018, Movies

I Still See You (2018, Scott Speer)

This is a PG-13 thriller with horror/science fiction elements which steals ideas from other movies and books, and which cannot even come up with its own vocabulary for its internal world. Had I been less tired when I watched it, I no doubt would have figured out who the main bad guy was immediately, simply because of the cast. It’s dumb, and because it’s OG-13, you can rest assured that the “thrills” are not particularly thrilling.

SPOILERS, as if you care.

This movie is so lazy, they couldn’t even come up with a name for the cataclysm that creates the world the movie inhabits. They call it “The Event”. What human beings would call something “The Event”? It doesn’t make the thing mysterious, it’s just a sign that the author of the source material can’t write. At least he bothered to name the ghosts, “Remnants”, which doesn’t sound utterly preposterous coming from the mouths of the characters.

We are immediately dropped into a class in a high school. In that class the students are asked by the teacher to tell the audience the rules of the remnants. I kid you not. They literally explain to us how everything works in their world. It doesn’t appear to be the first day of school, and all these students and the professor live in the world in which remnants have existed for years, but somehow they need to recite the rules of their world to each other in the middle of the school year. Talk about clunky exposition. This is a textbook case of telling not showing and it is the kind of thing I would show someone as to how not to write exposition. It’s an awful scene.

The film picks up a bit once its done lecturing us about its rules. Everything is pretty competently done and, were it not for the opening, I might have hated it less. But the reveal of the reason for “The Event” is basically backwards evil Flatliners; it’s both totally implausible and it feels borrowed. (I must say that, due to my tiredness, I didn’t pay much attention to the speech in the reveal – because of course there was a speech! this is a lazily written movie – so maybe they tried to make the “science” work, but my memory is that it was gobbledygook.)

And, of course, we get the twist. The twist that any regular movie watcher will see coming a mile away, and which I should have, had I been paying attention at all and had I not been irrationally tired from my relaxing cruise. The most famous actor in the movie is the real bad guy. Shock. Horror. Didn’t see that coming. This is followed by a typically ridiculous underwater scene set in a frozen lake in which our hero would have died if the laws of physics existed in this movie.



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