‘I See You’ (2019) is an unconventional horror-thriller film that tells the story of two police detectives as they investigate the sudden disappearance of two young boys and wonder whether the present incidents are connected to what happened 15 years earlier when a brutal serial killer abducted and killed several children of similar age. Of all his victims, two only survived. In the present day, detectives Greg Harper (Jon Tenney) and Spitzky (Gregory Alan Williams) investigate the disappearances while dealing with personal demons. If you are wondering about the setting of ‘I See You,’ we got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD.
When Does I See You Take Place?
‘I See You’ predominantly takes place in the present day. Given that the film came out in 2019, we can safely presume that is the year when much of the action depicted in the film takes place. There are also some flashback scenes set 15 years earlier when the original set of abductions and murders took place. So, 15 years before 2019 makes it 2004.
‘I See you’ has one of the most jarring and impactful twists of all time. The film’s narrative can be split into three almost equal parts. The first part focuses on Greg and his family as he seemingly investigates the disappearances of Justin Whitter and Michael King. The second part follows Alec and Mindy, the two “phroggers,” or people who live in the homes of strangers without telling them. The narrative is framed in such a way that it makes it seem that Alec is a copycat trying to emulate the crimes from 15 years earlier. The third part is all about revelation, where the audience learns that Greg has been the killer all along, and Alec is one of the two victims who managed to get away.
Where Does I See You Take Place?
The narrative of ‘I See You’ is almost exclusively set in Northeastern Ohio. Oscar-winning actress Helen Hunt portrays Jackie Harper, Greg’s wife, in the film. According to Matt Waldeck, the producer of ‘I See You,’ Hunt wanted to shoot her scenes in California, but they convinced her to come to Ohio. Filming for the movie primarily took place in Lakewood and Chagrin Falls.
“She [Hunt] originally wanted to film in California, but I thought it would be much more authentic to shoot at a real house on the lake,” Waldeck explained in an interview with the Cleveland Magazine. “Helen came in for 10 days, returned to California and came back for five days. Kudos to her for taking a gamble with the first genre movie she’s ever been in. When she first saw it at South by Southwest, she was very pleased.”
Waldeck himself is originally from Northeastern Ohio. He grew up in Bainbridge and attended St. Ignatius High School. The opening shot of the film shows the aerial view of Chagrin Falls. This is where Waldeck used to work as a youth at the village’s Popcorn Shop. The Harper house of the film is situated on Edgewater Drive and offers direct access to Lake Erie.
According to the producer, the response of the Lakewood neighborhood to their production was extremely positive. “It was truly collaborative,” he said. “Two of the neighbors had homes with dressing rooms for us to use and another one set up a tent we used for catering. For six weeks, we had a whole block that turned into our own studio lot.” ‘I See You’ is an unusual film. The horror aspect of the narrative isn’t derived from jump scares or other conventional tropes. There is a perpetual sense of dread in the film, and the Northeastern Ohio setting helps it manifest.
Read More: Is I See You (2019) Based on a True Story?