A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that I Still See You is a 2018 sci-fi horror movie in which Bella Thorne plays a teen in a world ten years after an apocalyptic event leaves a world filled with ghosts. There are two suicides by gun to the head, shown up to the point when they pull the trigger, and a presumed suicide when a high school principal falls to his death. There are stabbings, choking, and drowning. Brief nudity -- breasts. The lead character agrees to a deal with a teen who has a crush on her that she will "tell people we hooked up" in exchange for his assistance. Infrequent profanity: "s--t," "hell."
What's the story?
In I STILL SEE YOU, during experiments in a lab in Chicago, a catastrophic shockwave is unleashed, resulting in the deaths of millions. Their ghosts, known as "remnants," haunt the lives of those who survived. Ten years later, Ronnie Calder (Bella Thorne), a high school student in Jewel City, Illinois, sees her "remnant" father each morning at breakfast before disappearing, only to return the next morning. As she learns about the qualities of these remnants from her "cool" high school teacher Mr. Bittner (Dermot Mulroney), she is confronted by a new remnant, a teen boy who stands outside of her shower and writes the word "RUN" in the mist of the bathroom mirror. Determined to find out what's going on, she befriends Kirk (Richard Harmon), a brooding new student to Ronnie's high school who spends his time in class drawing remnants. Their search takes them from the school library to nearby Chicago -- which has been declared by the government to be a "No-Go Zone" after the disaster -- where they learn that everything and everyone are not what they seem, and there is more to the story of "Brian," the remnant who appeared in Ronnie's bathroom. Now, Ronnie and Kirk must discover what really happened ten years ago, and find a way to help those who died to cease being remnants.
Is it any good?
This movie is a poor execution of an interesting concept. The logic of the premise shifts to fit the immediate needs of each scene, creating more questions than answers. I Still See You often seems like little more than a way for Bella Thorne to be a brooding semi-Goth teenager (she sometimes dresses in black clothing and has a black hair wig) in a world where even the "cool" adults -- like her teacher who is hip to phrases like "slow your roll"-- are not to be trusted. In terms of the story, it shouldn't be difficult for anyone to suss out the plot twists at least thirty minutes before they happen.
Overall, the acting isn't bad, and the production and special effects are decent enough, but the story itself falls short. The action starts off slow and confusing. It doesn't really explain why some ghosts are at the breakfast table every morning, and why some are from the 19th century, and why others are standing outside of Bella Thorne's shower. Or why some dirtbag humans still live among the ghosts in the ruins of post-apocalyptic Chicago. There's a lot that simply doesn't make much sense. The result is a confusing and often boring movie that leaves questions the audience isn't engaged enough to answer.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about post-apocalyptic movies. How does I Still See You compare to other movies that show the aftermath of some kind of disastrous event?
This movie is based on the novel Break My Heart 1000 Times. What would be the challenges in adapting a novel into a movie?
Was the sex and violence in the movie necessary to the story, or did it seem gratuitous?
- In theaters: October 12, 2018
- On DVD or streaming: December 11, 2018
- Cast: Bella Thorne, Dermot Mulroney, Richard Harmon
- Director: Scott Speer
- Studio: Lions Gate
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: Some violence, terror, partial nudity, and thematic material.
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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