There are plenty of movies out there that can make a person feel paranoid, and I See You is one of those that is simplistic at its core but somehow can convince a person that they might not be looking at things from the right angle since up until the explanation of what’s happening is given, it does have an almost supernatural feel to it. The early abduction of a young boy in the movie appears to have almost nothing to do with the story as the audience is introduced to the Harper’s. The initial encounter is that of Jackie, the mother, who is making breakfast for her teenage son Connor, who obviously has a bone to pick with his mother over something. Eventually, it’s discovered that Jackie had an affair with another man, and her husband, Greg, and their son are having a tough time forgiving her. With this dynamic firmly in place, the story begins to push forward as the abductions of the young boys that are mentioned in the beginning start to come into focus as Greg is made the lead detective on the case.
When strange things begin to happen in the house however it’s tough to reconcile just what’s going on since there’s the feeling that something isn’t right and that the home isn’t as secure as it should be, but it would appear that the family isn’t entirely aware of what’s off at the moment. When pictures go missing from their frames, silverware goes missing, and other various things begin to happen in the home, Jackie, Connor, and Gary begin to suspect each other of messing around, but are also very confused as to what’s happening. When the man that Jackie was having an affair with shows up to profess his love, however, he’s struck by a falling coffee cup before Jackie seeks to hide him in the basement, tending to his wound and telling him to stay there as she takes her son to school.
The big surprise is that when she returns home, she finds her former lover dead in the basement, as an unseen assailant was seen attacking the man from behind earlier. When Jackie brings Gary to the basement to try to explain, she’s almost convinced that Connor must have done this out of anger, and begins to break down. Snapping her out of it, Gary suggests that they bury the body, but while they’re gone, Connor is assaulted by a strange, masked character in their home and left tied up in the bathtub, along with a green-handled pocketknife, the same type of implement that ties into the case that Gary is currently heading. At one point, following the assault on Connor, the audience is introduced to the idea of Phrogging, a trend in which homeless individuals invade a family’s home and live among them without being noticed. Mindy and Alec, an expert and a novice at phrogging respectively, document their time in the Harper’s home, as they take up residence in a crawlspace that’s located just behind the wall in the upstairs guest room. Unfortunately, while the thrill of it is enough for Mindy, Alec quickly shows that he’s more intent on driving the Harpers insane as the videos show that he’s the one that has been taking the pictures, the silverware, and has been behind the strange happenings that have plagued the family.
It’s tough to know who to root for in this movie, or if it’s even possible to root for anyone to begin with. It becomes even more difficult when it’s revealed that Gary is the one that murders his wife’s lover and then gaslights her to make Jackie think that their son is the guilty party. When Mindy and Alec fight about what’s going on and Alec accidentally pushes her down the stairs, knocking her out, things only get worse as he puts her in the back of one of Harper’s vehicles, whereupon she finds the shirt of one of the missing boys, and a sack full of green-handled pocketknives. Even worse, when Gary drives out into the woods she finds out that he’s the kidnapper, and not long after she’s abducted, taken back to the house, and shot as Gary stages the scene to make it appear that she was intruding.
Alec, who was in the house the entire time, attacks Gary with an ax, only to be knocked out and then left alone as Gary once again tries to stage the scene by stabbing himself with a kitchen knife before trying to frame Alec. The younger man recovers and retrieves Gary’s gun, however, and just before he pulls the trigger, Gary recognizes him, and as one might expect, begins to plead. It turns out that Alec was one of the boys that Gary abducted that escaped, which might explain his psychotic behavior. By the end, the police have surrounded the Harper’s home, and Jackie and Connor, who return to the house at that time, have to deal with the consequences of what’s been revealed.