The phrase “The keeper is the eater” has become a conventional demeanor of crime thriller movies, and Babak Anvari’s latest “I Came By” is another addition to that list. This story is about two young wannabe-Robin Hood graffiti artists who break into rich men’s houses and paint the titular graffiti tag on their price-possessed walls to give off a little scaremongering vibe in the capitalist mind. But the story takes an ominous turn when one of them, Toby (Gorge Mackay), enters the mansion of his next target, Hector Blake, opening the door to a terrifying mystery.
Hector Blake, played by Hugh Bonneville, is a former high court judge whose house has demonic pastimes preserved in the basement. Sometimes we see this deceitful brute enjoy the meta-humor of “Rick and Morty” and, on the other hand, drill a human body like a man with a plan.
What Is Behind The Red Door?
Hector Blake, from a colonialist family, recently had to resign as a High Court judge following his comments to the Chancellor. Hector Blake, known as Saint Blake, usually took the inquest on behalf of the refugees. So he is a popular person in public. Initially, we see the so-called “Saint” Blake in his mansion’s basement, indifferently holding a picture of a boy. When Jay, already working at his house, takes a photo of the system control on Blake’s study table and sends it to Toby, Toby does the rest of the research, thinking Hector’s sanctity is just a PR stunt. Toby finds an antique ivory set in that photo sent by Jay, which hints at Hector’s sheer greed and elite capitalism, whereas Hector resigned from his job for his “anti-elitist” comments. Hector’s duplicity prompts Toby to protest in his own way. But who knew that Hector Blake would become his death knell?
When the partner in crime, Jay (Percelle Ascott), backs out of Toby’s recklessly wealthy eviction process in hopes of starting a family with his pregnant lover, Naz (Varada Sethu), A determined Toby goes on his mission alone. When Toby arrives at Hector’s mysterious bungalow to paint his graffiti tag, he is alarmed to learn the truth by peeking into a red door behind a cupboard in Blake’s basement. Although Hector heads home when the alarming notification comes on his phone, Toby survives the journey. But something gruesome he saw in Blake’s basement inspires him to break into his house the next night. However, Hector, seeing the unorganized state of his home, can guess another person’s intrusion. So the next night, when Toby arrives in his room, Blake doesn’t have much trouble catching him.
Toby finds a captive young man in that room and comes to his aid, but eventually he has to die at the hands of Hector instead. We see Blake cleaning up a bloody wooden bat that presumably took Toby’s life. He doesn’t hesitate to flush Toby’s ashes down the toilet. We don’t see any emotion on his face in this entire brutality. He carries out the murders and conceal all the evidence calmly, as if a regular person would perform his official duties.
Hector reflects an inhumanly powerful wretch who knows what he’s doing and has no regrets about it. He portrays his invincibility when Toby tries to send the police to his house. He thwarts them through his connection to Commissioner William. So, being a lawman himself, his misdeeds are out of reach. After Toby’s disappearance, his mother, Lizzie (Kelly Macdonald), takes the initiative to report the cops against Hector. When officer Lloyd arrives at Blake’s place, Hector rather looks so fearless with a savage attitude that he can get away from everything. He even obstructs Lloyd with an appalling facial expression leading her to arrest him. It was just his masterful idea to distract the cops from further investigation. But eventually, his friend, Commissioner William, let him leave.
How Did “Saint” Blake Become a Cold-blooded Killer Despite Being a Lawman?
The question remains that the person who neither lacks money nor fame. What is the reason behind his serial killings? We learn that, of course, when Hector gives a little backstory to his Iranian masseuse, Omid, whom he has invited to his house before finishing him off.
Hector, with his icky stare, narrates his childhood trauma of his father being a jerk to his mom and how he ended up making a Persian-Indian boy, Ravi, replace his family, which led his mother to kill herself. When he was sent to boarding school and returned, he thought he’d kill Ravi, but tormenting him like a “Savage beast” made him feel more empowered. While the tale of such homophobic cruelty begins to discomfort Omid, Hector keeps counting the time for the drug to effect that he has mixed with Omid’s drink. But luckily, Omid survives by getting away from the window, while Lizzie out there comes to his aid. Hector is not making any moves, keeps staring at them. However, Omid is not able to escape; instead, he is imprisoned in the dungeon by the threats of Hector withholding his citizenship, the result of which we know is death.
Hector is a sharp-eyed jerk who sees Lizzie keeping a clumsy eye on him, so he slyly tricks her into entering his house. Lizzie, drawn to motherhood, is forced to step into the snake pit in search of her son, which results in her fate ending up like Toby. Capturing Lizzie, Hector begins cutting up Omid’s dead body in front of her, also telling Lizzie about Toby’s ashes that he flushed down the toilet. He finally kills her and burns all her essentials. Having no news from Lizzie, Jay is forced to take a big step. He gets information from his ex-lover Naz that Hector’s former school is hosting a tercentenary celebration, where Hector will be given a tribute. When Jay follows him from that school to his house, the two get into a heated fight, but eventually, Jay overpowers and handcuffs him to hand him over to the law. Meanwhile, Jay rescues another tortured prisoner from the basement, leading to speculation as to who it might be.
Hector Blake’s fake sainthood, shrouded in the dark shadows of racism and classism, is exposed to blindfolded law. Finally, the one who once helped with the refugee’s inquest is caught in his true form, as the refugee killer. We often see the doors of his slaughterhouse open to all, just as his brains are open to indulge the lowest abominations. Some of his backstories raise questions, which doesn’t justify his ostentatious thirst for revenge. But Bonville’s eerily monologue delivery might be the only suspenseful thing in the entire movie, which changes the color of the situation. Hector Blake’s indomitable arrogance, which imprisons the weak in his “Panic Room,” must be crushed until the end, which Anvari essentially wants to show.
This prisoner, seen at first in Blake’s death cave, might have perished with Toby, but the last captive must be said to be Hector’s other victim. But what happened to Ravi? That being said, as Hector ages and his madness grows, it is conceivable that Ravi is crushed to death, perhaps accelerating the development of Hector’s inner monster.
See More: ‘I Came By’ Ending, Explained: Why Does Sir Hector Blake Kill? Does Jay Save Toby And Lizzie?