This one was a real chore to sit through. I know that isn’t the most ringing endorsement, however, as this film oozes with creativity and monotony in equal measure, it is difficult to surmise my definitive impressions of the work. James Fite manages an impressive visual spectacle while approaching the mutual inclusiveness of fear and childhood imagination, though stumbling too much when directing his cast. I See Something is a weird amalgamation of impressive aesthetics and lackluster substance; while it makes for an interesting conversation on cinematography and lighting design, it is totally toothless in its attempts at horror.
Upon discovering they are home without their parents, Liam (Ryan Fite) and Madison (Alyssa Wellner) begin to feel something outside the house is watching them through the exterior windows. As they continually fuel each other’s paranoia, neither are quite sure what is out there, and that their eyes should be trusted.
“…begin to feel something outside the house is watching them through the windows.”
First and foremost, James Fite’s cinematography is the most commendable element in this short, utilizing the outer and inner environments by way of Mike Gioulakis’ camerawork in It Follows (2014). The action within the house is often caught expertly at a distant remove from the building, allowing mishmashes of shadows to carry the tension. However, that is roughly as far as it goes with being a compelling horror. The editing is disjointed and lacks a consistent continuity, ultimately neutering any tension that naturally resides in each scene. But what is the absolute fumble is the casting. Though films carried by teen and child actors are always a mixed bag, and Ryan Fite and Wellner have scattershot moments denoting talent, their expressions and reactions wander between blank slates and subdued unease, neither of which are at all appropriate.
There is enough substantial potential at work in I See Something to warrant an audience, though it also remains victim to common narrative pitfalls, resulting in a predictable fair, void of suspense or horror.
I See Something (2018) Directed by James Fite. Written by James Fite. Starring Ryan Fite, Alyssa Wellner.
5 out of 10