Writer-director Graham Reznick has a whole mess of ideas (emphasis on “mess”). Some of them good ones; others not so much.
In his “psychological horror” film (a term that always causes me to make sure my wallet is still in my pocket) I Can See You, he layers symbolism on top of metaphor on top of subtext with obvious care, but I’m not 100 percent convinced his bad-trip, camping-trip premise pays off in any meaningful way.
It’s intriguing to look at, though.
Three Brooklyn advertising flunkies, working on a huge campaign for a very cheesy cleaning product, decide to go camping in order to clear their creative blocks.
Kimball (Christopher Ford) brings his girlfriend Sonia (Olivia Villanti), who can’t stand Doug (Duncan Skiles), an extroverted horn-dog asshole. And then there’s Richard (Ben Dickinson), a confused artist with Daddy issues and a tenuous grasp on reality.
Ah, you can almost smell the campfire smoke.
Reznick attempts to fuse hazy jumpcuts from ’60s counterculture features like Easy Rider, with the paint-dry pace of WTF atmospheric horror oddities like Let’s Scare Jessica to Death or Picnic at Hanging Rock.
Truth be told, this audacious camp-stew concept did result in enough taut footage to keep me hanging in there. It’s slow and hallucinatory, with flashbacks, foreshadowing, and plenty of nonlinear interludes.
I Can See You is mildly interesting, for the most part, but I question whether the average horror fan will have the patience to sit through all the film-school artsy-fartsiness to reach any definite conclusions.
Is one of the campers a killer? More than one of them? Will they finally come up with a salable idea for their presentation? How come Richard can’t finish painting a portrait of his father? Is it a creative sin to use genuine artistic talent to sell useless consumer items?
Lots and lots of questions, but the answers, my friend, are blowing in the wind.