I Still See You
Genre(s): Supernatural Thriller
Lionsgate | PG13 – 88 min. – $21.99 | December 11, 2018
Date Published: 12/23/2018 | Author: The Movieman
Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
THE MOVIE — 2.0/5
Note: This review does contain some MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS, so readers beware.
Many times there are movies with great ideas behind them but the execution absolutely didn’t live up to the potential. I Still See You is about a world which there’s an “event” centered around Chicago (not sure what Hollywood has against that city) in which specters have suddenly become visible, but only for a few minutes, doing routines they did when they were living.
10 years after the “event”, a government program gone awry, the film follows Veronica Calder (BELLA THORNE) whose father had died amongst hundreds, if not thousands, of others. She’s a typical teenager though living in a world where the Federal government has a Spectral Affairs, attending high school. There, she’s captivated by loner Kirk Lane (RICHARD HARMON) whom is considered a truther, believing there is more going on as more and more specters, also known as rems (short of remnants), have begun appearing despite the belief from authorities they would begin fading away as time went on.
There are a rules when it comes to these specters as exposition-ed by history(?) teacher Mr. Bittner (DERMOT MULRONEY): that the rems can’t interact with the living, and rems cannot change a routine or break out of a pattern, amongst a couple others.
In the meantime, Veronica gets a ghostly encounter in the bathroom from a man who she not only has never seen before but he writes a warning on the mirror: “run”, though his name Brian did pop up in her head. She seeks the help from Kirk and he reluctantly agrees to help and soon they put on their Scooby-hats and do research first on how to capture an image of the em and then digging into his past, which is very dark, the suspect behind the strangulations of two teen girls and they discover a connection: both girls were born on February 29, which just happens to be Veronica’s birthday as well. So it would seem Brian, who had committed suicide as the authorities were closing in apparently, is stalking and her life is in danger.
With an interesting premise, I kind of was interested in seeing I Still See You because I’m also a fan of Bella Thorne. While she wasn’t bad, nor was Richard Harmon (better known for his role on The 100), but neither young(ish) actor could overcome such a lame script and an utterly predictable twist that anyone could see coming two miles away once the mystery aspect is set-up (i.e. the murder of the girls at the hands of Brian).
Alright, I’ll outright spoil it right now, so turn away if you don’t want to know.
So, the killer turns out to be Mr. Bittner played by veteran character actor(?) Dermot Mulroney. For his part, Mulroney was okay though be straddled with such a stupid twist, not sure I can blame him too much other than for taking the role (guess beggars can’t be choosers comes to mind) and adding insult to injury, just like we’ll never see a follow up to the Taylor Lautner thriller, Abducted where Mulroney had a cameo at the end to set-up a sequel, I Still See You also sequel-baits. Not sure it will get one unless it finds an audience on home video (the film did manage to get $1M overseas; only $1,359 stateside).
In any case, the film is based upon a novel entitled ‘Break My Heart a 1,000 Times’ by Daniel Waters and a script by Jason Fuchs, the story writer behind Wonder Woman, and was helmed by Scott Speer, the director behind the schmaltzy Midnight Sun (also starring Thorne) and the music-dance-dram, Step Up Revolution. Not exactly a banner resume… and yes, I have seen both of those movies unfortunately. Make this number three.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.75/5
This release comes with a semi glossy slip cover and inside a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. Considering its lackluster box office, it’s good to see some special features.
Audio Commentary with Director Scott Speer and Actress Bella Thorne: This track is fairly informative and I do like it when actors get in involved and the pair breaks down the film from its novel origins to giving tid-bits on filming locations and more.
Remnants: Manifesting I Still See You (26:11; HD) – This is a lengthier than usual making-of featurette with some behind-the-scenes footage going through the origins of the movie from the novel to the actual production including casting.
Break My Heart 1,000 Times: Novel to Screen (9:01; HD) examines the process of screenwriter Jason Fuchs adapting the novel for cinema.
Deleted Scenes (28:15; HD) – There are 14 deleted scenes that didn’t make the cut that are nice but clearly unnecessary, though one scene resulted in having to be done with less blood so the movie could get a PG-13 versus R; kind of wish they just replaced it for the home video release (no time difference). Also includes an optional commentary with Speer.
Previews – Down a Dark Hall, Kin, Jessabelle, Winchester
VIDEO – 4.0/5
|Lionsgate releases I Still See You onto Blu-ray where it is presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. The movie itself is rather dark in both tone and the look, under cinematographer Simon Dennis (The Girl with All the Gifts), so this isn’t going to be a brightly lit, other than some outdoor scenes in the snow, film. Detail on this was decent though nothing extraordinary but black levels were reasonably stark.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
|The disc includes a surprisingly strong, especially noticeable toward the finale, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which shows off clear dialogue levels primarily through the center channel with the front and rear channels being mainly relegated for ambient noises. But where the track does come to life is when the LFE turned on to give it an extra kick for some of the more key moments.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Admittedly I was disappointed in I Still See You as there was plenty of potential and while I know it sticks to the source material, the mystery aspect never quite worked. This Blu-ray release from Lionsgate has very good video/audio transfers and a decent selection of bonus material.
Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.