For those of us who enjoy the burst of adrenaline provided by thrillers, the premise of a blind person in peril is something we've seen a few other times in the past. “Let Me See” may not go in completely blind with its familiar premise but the fact that it doesn’t stay cooped up in the dark forever is and also isn’t entirely promising.
If anything, what holds this movie back is simply being unable to live up to its own premise and that’s mostly at fault with the writing because here’s the thing: production design is nice, compact and secluded enough to make use of its frustrating layout when the lights go out, the scenery feels dour and bleak enough to invoke a sense of uneasiness and I LOVE me some moody dour ambience in the air; the camerawork takes major advantage of the limited environment thanks, in turn, to a mildly innovative direction Randall Okita was mostly able to exploit in his favor.
The problem is it doesn’t stay innovative for long, now does it?
Editing doesn’t become a problem until the final act when it plods out the mostly competent pacing, most of the soundtrack is mechanically dull and drowsy despite some disconcerting sound design, it’s antagonists can’t avoid being dumb-dumbs forever and other intriguing characters, including our leads, get hit with the BAN-HAMMER before they can probably develop and become fully three dimensional. Sure, Adam Yorke and Tommy Gushue’s writing chops lack the crafty screenplay and generous handful of unexpected plot contortions as Don’t Breathe…..
…..but the writing does douse itself in a surprisingly subtle stroke of metaness that mostly deviates from the Wait Until Dark formula and most home-invasion tropes. Okita pairs the eyes and ears of the victim and the audience for an admittedly frustrating but taut package that only just tips the scope and scale for its own foundation, using its own gimmick and barely exhuming the bare minimum to make it interesting.
Every performance here is subliminally solid. Voice actor Skyler Davenport is aware that this role and performance has considerably more edge and nuance than most similar parts in this genre fare and she easily fits the mold for a character that, upon closer inspection, isn’t as unlikable as many people call her out for. Same with Jessica Parker Kennedy, portraying the reactions of the audience through the lens of a horror fan and a gamer too.
As much as I wanted the script to be more polished so it could have further explored both characters true nature, they’re both pretty grey enough to feel a smidge more human than most.
A fascinating ‘Don’t Breathe’ clone with a gimmick that actually doesn’t overstay its welcome, it strips away most of the strengths and weaknesses of its OWN foundation just to make room for new ones. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel but the moral complications created puts this thriller a few pixels above most in the genre.