Movie Review: 'I Still See You' Is A Supernatural Thriller Worth Seeing

I Still See You Bella Thorne Veronica Ronnie Calder
Proving that there are still intriguing stories to tell in the supernatural thriller sub-genre is the Bella Thorne starrer “I Still See You.” The movie is set in the aftermath of an event that has caused ghostly replays of deceased people to become visible to the living. More on that in a sec.

Years later, Ronnie (Bella Thorne) is a high school student continuing to grapple with her father's tragic death on the day it started, and the haunting repercussions. In its wake, the living can see the dreamlike apparitions of loved ones and strangers alike, carrying out the same bite-size portion of their daily routine.

These entities are called REMs, and there is said to be no ability for one to communicate with the other. That is just one of the rules that apply in “I Still See You’s” thoroughly constructed universe.

One morning, everything changes for Ronnie. She sees an ominous REM that leaves her a warning and instantly fears for her life. Enter a new guy (Richard Harmon) at school with his own curiosity about the apparitions, and you have two teens ready to solve the mystery. It is up to the audience to see where it will lead them.

“I Still See You” take a bit to get its momentum building. When it does start mounting, the parts are in place for a supernatural thriller every bit as suspenseful as “The Invisible” and “Before I Fall.”

They do not share a lot in common plot-wise. The consistent thread is the trippy way all of them steadily build to their crescendo. None of the movies suffer from third act fatigue, which makes the slow build of their first portion, all the more worthwhile.

The drama surrounding the mystery in “I Still See You” is sound, and the answer itself is not innately apparent. It has a lot of compelling elements and remains suspenseful to figure out.

“I Still See You” conjures a strong emotive feel and the special effects are used without exaggeration. Based on Daniel Waters' novel “Break My Heart One Thousand Times,” the movie makes fast work of realizing a pretty distinct world in a relatively brief period.

The lead heroine is not likable right off the bat. As the movie progresses, those feelings improve. Ronnie is prickly, although she conjures the overall vibe present in the spunky brand of heroines popularized in the 1980s. Bella Thorne captures that mystique with a fine performance that hits all of the right notes.

Dermot Mulroney provides yet another natural turn that reminds viewers of his talent. Mulroney has an uncanny gift for getting the most out of any role, and he does it again here. It is further proof that he should be leading a TV project for Netflix or Amazon.

After a plentiful run in the late 1990s and early 2000s, theatrical young adult thrillers have felt like a dying breed recently. To see any new entry in it is exciting and given the compelling results that “I Still See You” provides, hopefully, more will follow suit.

“I Still See You” makes a strong case for why they work. There are some messages about grief and moving on that slightly call back to the sentiments seemingly shared in the “Happy Death Day” sequel. However, “I Still See You” leaves what it is trying to say more open to less upsetting interpretation.

The movie's premise finds a way to mine new ground in a ghostly sub-genre that often feels depleted. Clearly, there is still more to explore, and in this instance with a sci-fi edge to it. As a fun movie to watch on a cloudy weekend, “I Still See You” is worth seeing.

Rating: 7/10

As of August 2019, “I Still See You” is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

[Featured Image by Lionsgate]