Directed by Adam Randall, “I See You” is an entertaining crime thriller that might have its own shortcomings but is able to keep you hooked due to its fast-paced narrative, notable performances, and intriguing subplots. Like a true-blue whodunit, “I See You” saves the best for last and gives you an ending that you probably wouldn’t have seen coming in the first half. So, let’s find out what was happening with the dysfunctional Harper family and how they found themselves caught in such a mess.
‘I See You’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
A 10-year-old boy named Justin Whitter had disappeared from the neighborhood, and the parents were scared for the safety of their kids. The modus operandi of the entire incident was quite similar to a case where a guy named Cole Gordon was accused of abducting a number of children back in the day. The detectives, similar to the Cole Gordon case, had found a Swiss Army knife near the crime scene, from where Whitter had supposedly disappeared. Cole had been caught by the police 15 years ago, though he never pleaded guilty to his crimes. Greg Harper and Steve Spitzky were the lead investigators in that case, and once again, they were looped in after the disappearance of Whitter.
A few days ago, another kid named Michael King had disappeared, and the people were now scared as they had started to think that a serial abductor was on the loose. Cole Gordon’s lawyer, after the recent developments, had already warned the authorities about his intention of building a case of mistrial against them. Cole Gordon was still serving his sentence, so obviously, it was not him this time around. People had started questioning the investigation that had taken place 15 years ago, and there was a general notion that maybe the police had caught the wrong guy. Spitzsky was very sure that Gordon was not innocent, as he told Lieutenant Moriah Davis that he had found proper incriminating evidence from his house back in the day. Spitzsky’s best guess was that this was a copycat killer on the loose who was trying to confuse the authorities and trick them into believing that the old killer was back.
There were only two boys, Tommy Braun, and Alec Travers, who had escaped from Gordon’s captivity, and Davis wanted the detectives to interrogate them to get some information. Spitzsky didn’t approve of this move as it had been 15 years, and both children were now young adults who were still suffering from that trauma. Spitzsky told Davis that he had interrogated the boys and that he had no doubt about the fact that Gordon was the killer. But Davis didn’t want to leave any stone unturned. She hoped that the boys might remember some detail that could lead them to the killer. Spitzsky and Greg went to meet Tommy, but as soon as the boy saw the detectives, he had an anxiety attack. Tommy started shouting, and the detectives had to leave immediately to not traumatize him any further. Tommy’s entire face was bruised, as if someone had thrown acid on him. He had grown up, but he had not been able to overcome the trauma, and how could he after what he had to go through all those years ago? The authorities didn’t have any clue where the other boy was, and once again, they were stranded in the dark, not knowing in which direction they should lead their investigation.
Why Were Mindy And Alec Secretly Living In Greg’s House?
Things were not going well between Greg and his wife, Jackie. Jackie had recently had an extramarital affair, and though she realized her mistake, her husband and her son, Connor, were not in the mood to forgive her. Connor had stopped talking to his mother, and he felt that she didn’t deserve any kind of respect or love after what she had done to his father. Jackie was trying her best to find a solution, but Greg was in no mood to reconcile and move on from that incident. There were a lot of strange things happening in Greg’s house, which nobody was able to explain. The silverware went missing all of a sudden; the television got turned on by itself in the middle of the night; there were eerie noises that could be heard from behind the walls; and most importantly, a repairman who had come to mend their broken window told Jackie he was let in by her daughter, which was quite strange in itself as Jackie and Greg had only one child, i.e., Connor.
At this point in “I See You,” you start assuming that maybe there were supernatural entities present in the house, but the ending is nowhere near it. One day, Todd, with whom she had shared an intimate moment once before, came to meet at her house. Jackie started panicking because it was her relationship with Todd that had caused all the complications in her family. She feared that if Connor saw that Todd had come to meet her, he would realize that he was the guy with whom Jackie had an extramarital affair. Jackie was trying her best to make the family members forgive her, but Todd arriving at her doorstep uninformed didn’t help her cause.
She was just telling him to leave when something fell on his head from the window above, and Jackie assumed that it was her son who had thrown it on purpose. Jackie took Todd to the basement and gave him first aid. She asked him to stay put till her son went to school, as seeing Todd’s condition, she realized that he needed to be taken to the hospital. But when Jackie came back, she found Todd dead, and she believed that Connor was behind it. She had no option but to inform Greg about what had happened. Greg and Jackie secretly buried Todd, as they didn’t want the future of their child to be spoiled because of it.
Halfway through “I See You,” we got to know that there were two people, Mindy and Alec, who were “phrogging,” i.e., living in Greg’s house without their permission. Though they were in it together, Mindy and Alec had very different motives for staying at Greg and Jackie’s house. Mindy was doing it because she was done sleeping on park benches and railway stations, and once in a while, she wanted to sleep on a proper bed. Mindy knew that what she was doing was not right, which is why, time and again, she kept telling Alec that they had to make sure that they did not get in the way of the residents and not let them know about their existence at any cost. But Alec had a very different mindset, and he wanted to spook the family and mess with their heads. It felt like he had some ulterior motive behind choosing this house, though he never told Mindy about any such thing. Alec, without telling Mindy, urinated on Greg’s bed, and he was the one who had stolen all the silverware and kept it inside the washing machine. Alec was standing on the roof when Todd came to meet Jackie, and it was he who dropped the cup on Todd’s head.
Mindy freaked out when she learned about all this, and she told Alec that they had to leave before the Harpers called the police. Mindy went to the basement to get her bag when she witnessed Greg committing an offense right in front of her eyes. It was Greg who had killed Todd and not Connor, and that deepened the mystery even more.
Who Was Behind The Kidnappings?
Mindy and Alec were supposed to leave, but the latter wanted to do one last thing before he left Harper’s residence. Alec had made Connor unconscious, and he was tying him up when Mindy walked in on him. Mindy was going to call the cops, and Alec, while trying to stop her from doing that, accidentally pushed her off the stairs. Mindy became unconscious, and Alec was just about to leave with her in one of the cars when Greg came back to his house. After sending Jackie and Connor to the hospital, Greg also left for somewhere in the same car in which Alec had kept Mindy. Mindy woke up, and she found herself in the middle of the woods. She had found the same jersey that Justin Whitter was wearing on the day of his disappearance in Greg’s bag, and she realized who the child abductor was.
After Greg stopped the car and left for somewhere, Mindy got out and saw a cabin in the woods. She went and found that Justin Whitter and another kid were being kept there as captives. She was about to free them when Greg came from behind and struck her in the head. The lead investigator in the kidnapping case was himself the perpetrator. Greg was the pedophile who was responsible for the disappearance of young boys, and he had been able to hide it from the world up until then. Greg saw Mindy’s and Alec’s cameras, and he realized that they had been secretly living in his house. That’s when Greg hatched a plan, and he brought Mindy back to his house once again. Greg killed Mindy and made it look like he had acted in self-defense. Alec, who was still there in the house, attacked Greg, and both of them entered into a deadly fight. Greg told Alec that he was going to pin all the crimes on their heads and make it look like they were the ones who were killing and kidnapping the children. He threatened him that he wouldn’t be able to get away after killing a police officer so easily, but Alec didn’t care about what happened to him after he killed Greg. Greg saw the rage in the young boy’s eyes, and he realized that he was not going to stop. Greg begged Alec to stop, but he put a bullet inside the officer and ended his life.
Why Was Greg Kidnapping The Young Boys?
“I See You” never reveals if there was an incident that happened in Greg’s past that led him to inhabit such dark and twisted behavioral tendencies inside him. The only thing that we know is that Greg craved acceptance and love from Jackie’s family, which he probably never got. He was looked at as an unworthy man who wasn’t capable of providing the lifestyle that Jackie would otherwise have gotten. Maybe that feeling triggered certain emotions inside him and brought back some childhood memories, though we cannot say for sure. Maybe he was himself abused in his childhood, as various studies tell us that a majority of offenders have been victims at some stage of their lives, or maybe he was simply so deranged that he got attracted to kids. Inhibiting feelings like poor self-esteem could also play a major role in fueling the motivations of such offenders. Maybe Greg was looking for that acceptance that he never got from his wife’s family, and it could be possible that even his own parents were not too supportive of him. Whatever the reasons might have been, Greg’s actions were not pardonable and could never be justified.
Soon after Alec killed Greg, Spitzsky arrived at the scene, and seeing Greg on the floor and Alec standing with a gun, he assumed what had happened and impulsively shot Alec. The ending of “I See You” makes a shocking revelation that we didn’t see coming. Alec’s last name was Travers, and he was one of the two guys who had escaped from the captivity of the kidnapper 15 years ago. Spitzsky would have believed in the narrative that Greg was trying to create, but as soon as he saw Alec, he recognized him. Spitzsky got to know that Cole Gordon was actually innocent, and it was his good friend Greg who was behind the abduction and killing of all those children. We realized why Alec had been acting out and doing all sorts of deranged things in the Harper residence. He was not the cold-hearted lunatic whom we believed him to be, but someone who had gone through the torture firsthand.
Seeing Greg have such a good reputation in society and having all the perks and privileges triggered him. His entire life had been spoiled, and the perpetrator who had condemned him to such a fate was leading a normal life. Spitszky got all the evidence he needed to prove that Greg was the kidnapper, and the revelations sent Jackie and Connor into a state of shock. Though Alec had been shot by Spitzsky, he survived the attack, and in the end, he was taken to the hospital. Alec got his revenge, though he had never intended to kill Greg. Alec knew that killing the perpetrator wouldn’t help him forget those traumatic days he had spent in captivity, but maybe he could take solace in the fact that no other kids would be harmed in the future.