I Can See You

Dir. Graham Reznick. (2008 97 mins, hvx)

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Three aspiring ad-men take a weekend in the wilderness, brainstorming for their first assignment: to overhaul the image of a once popular cleaning product, Claractix. While in the woods, a girlfriend’s mysterious disappearance sparks a harrowing descent into unreality. Personalities contort into extremes and visits are made by a specter from Claractix campaigns of the past as the film careens towards it’s startling climax.

Critic’s Choice!

This tremendous debut from writer-director-editor
composer Graham Reznick, goes from comic-realistic
mode into full-on psycho meltdown with more
terrifying adroitness than any other movie
of this decade. See. It. Now.

Graham Reznick steps out of the background and
into the directorial spotlight in a major way…
There is a sequence midway through this film,
set to a Badalamenti-esque score by Jeff Grace,
that took my breath away.

I CAN SEE YOU is a true adventure: Reznick
has gone into the wilderness and come back
with an extremely promising feature debut.

A truly trippy experience… haunting sound design
and arresting visuals that will keep this film in you
long after you see it.

More of a head-trip than a scary flick –
and why not have both? Reznick has created
here something unusual and fresh.

I Can See You is one of the most indefinable films I
think I’ve ever seen. Reznick’s one to keep an eye on.

I Can See You is an unsettlingly paced, contemporary
horror piece accented with psychedelic visuals, a twitchy
sound design and some brief but effective violence. Those
who go along for the ride will find it memorably weird.

Reznick seems to have a keen eye and ear for
what makes a small budget film bristle
with a sort of alien kinetic energy.

The New York Times


Campfire Horror, Through a Kaleidoscope

The low-budget horror film “I Can See You” has a plot as old as the hills or at least as old as “The Hills Have Eyes.” A group of city slickers heads out to the country: trouble, madness and some very nasty bodily harm ensue.

But the twist and this is a very twisty movie is that the city folks are Brooklyn hipsters taking digital photographs for use in a marketing campaign, and the trouble they encounter has nothing to do with deranged mutant hillbillies.

What it does entail is open to interpretation. The multitasking filmmaker Graham Reznick (who wrote, directed, co-produced, edited and partly scored the movie) calls his debut “a psychedelic campfire tale,” which is as good a description as any for this elusive, experimental scare flick.

There are intimations of standard horror developments: Ben (Ben Dickinson) is afflicted by unnerving perceptual phenomena; Doug (Duncan Skiles) goes missing one night and later turns up mysteriously traumatized; a woman they meet (Heather Robb) suffers an equally inexplicable fate and perhaps becomes a zombie.

Yet up to and including an overtly horrific climax, nothing can quite be pinned down, explained or identified. Rife with ominous close-ups, strange superimpositions, surrealistic digressions and a sound design that hints at all manner of inchoate terrors, the movie itself seems to be descending into a fearful, broken consciousness.

David Lynch is the key influence here, and Mr. Reznick proves himself a keen disciple of the master. “I Can See You” heralds a splendid new filmmaker with one eye on genre mechanics, one eye on avant-garde conceits and a third eye for transcendental weirdness.



Graham Reznick, resident sound designer for the films of Larry Fessenden’s Scareflix line, has stepped up to the plate and written, directed, produced and edited his own feature film, I CAN SEE YOU. Opening this week at New York City’s Cinema Purgatorio and arriving on DVD May 26 (joined in both showcases by Reznick’s 3-D short THE VIEWER), it is without a doubt one of the most intriguing and well-crafted low-budget horror films in recent memory.

Richards (Ben Dickinson), Doug (Duncan Skiles) and Kimble (Christopher D. Ford) are the creators of a small new marketing firm trying to catch their big break. It comes in the form of an opportunity to pitch an environmentally friendly ad campaign for the ClaraClean Company, a corporation whose number-one product is Claractix, a cleansing product that supposedly works wonders. Unsatisfied with their Internet searches for images of breathtaking forests and ultra-green pastures, Doug (the aggressive, sleazy, ultra-yuppie self-imposed leader) convinces Richards and Kimble that they all need to get in touch with nature by heading out for a weekend camping trip and take some beautiful photographs themselves.

The trio, along with Kimble’s girlfriend Sonia (Olivia Villanti)—who works for ClaraClean and set them up with the interview—hop in an SUV and call some friends for a Saturday-evening bonfire up in the woods. Richards, an artist/photographer and the quietest and most laid-back of the three, rekindles an interest in his hippie-ish friend Summer Day (Heather Robb) at the gathering, and manages to seal the deal, prompting her to stay the weekend and help the three after everyone else heads home. Once they actually start getting to work, Richards finds a problem with his camera; something is interfering with the photos, distorting the image. Soon, Doug and Summer Day are missing, and not only the pictures become blurry, but reality as well.

I CAN SEE YOU is not a film for everyone, but those who do check it out will find something special. We’ve all seen chillers centering on friends in the woods, and whether there’s a monster or slasher or they’re the villains themselves, it’s a worn-out subgenre. That’s where I CAN SEE YOU’s trippy aesthetics and playfulness with reality and perception come in and make it interesting. The stars of the film, beyond the leads, are Reznick himself and his cinematographer Gordon Arkenberg, who do standout work. The film looks and flows beautifully, proving that talent and creativity can totally trump a low budget. Their lensing of the bonfire and the intimacy between Richards and Summer Day has a sinister atmosphere that’s the hallmark of a strong director and cast coming together. Reznick’s pacing is directly in sync with its characters, and while the first half moves in a free and loose manner, it’s a pleasure to take in before things get unsettling.

Actually, things get unsettling pretty early as well, thanks in part to an odd cameo by executive producer Fessenden himself. Playing Mickey Hauser, the Billy Mays-like spokesperson for Claractix, he’s mostly seen in infomercial snippets, brightly showing off the cleaner in a powder-blue suit and shiny smile; if you thought people like Mays, Tony Little and the “Sham-Wow” guy were disturbing, just imagine Fessenden putting his own stamp on that type of personality. The film is worth seeing for his brief appearances alone.

All three leads, though, contribute excellent performances and ground the film, since it’s a good bet we all know people exactly like this. Dickinson warrants special mention: The film is totally his character’s journey, and watching him deal with the effects of what’s happening sells the more bizarre sequences. These include a musical number by Skiles that, via Reznick’s direction, takes on an air of disconcerting David Lynch surrealism rather than out-of-place camp. Villanti and Robb, while not on screen terribly long, definitely make their presences known. Especially Robb, whose Summer Day is the embodiment of the cute, ultracreative, “wherever the wind takes her” hippie chick we all wish we could be with. For a psychedelic, surreal film of this kind to work, you have to buy into the characters and want to know where the journey, no matter how much dread is permeating the air, will take them. At this, I CAN SEE YOU is immensely successful.

Delving any further would unfortunately require spoilers, and while there’s no serious twist at the end, the resolution should definitely remain untold. It’s best to enter I CAN SEE YOU without much knowledge or expectations, but allowing yourself to be open for the ride, letting it work its magic on you. It’s a small film that will hopefully find a following on DVD after its limited theatrical run, and boasts the special quality of being worth revisiting. It warrants discussion and sharing your thoughts about it, and you may well want to re-experience it to get a firmer grasp in subsequent viewings.

I CAN SEE YOU establishes Reznick as an exciting filmmaker who has the talent and potential to provide a unique voice within the genre community. Here’s hoping he makes more creative and stimulating horror flicks in the years to come.

Village Voice


Horror Flick I Can See You Opts For Brakhage Over Butchery

Ultimately opting for Brakhage over butchery, this surprising horror debut hits us where it hurts by turning vision itself into a mind-frying source of anxiety. The lengthy run-up is tedious and unpromising: A fledgling ad outfit—consisting of a drip, a menacing heel, and a frustrated painter—heads to the woods to brainstorm a pitch for a cleaning product, with a bored girlfriend in tow. Introduced dabbing at a portrait with no face, shy Ben (Ben Dickinson) gets lucky with a free spirit who turns up at a campfire gathering. He becomes the film’s portal for fugue states of increasing intensity, amid the usual forest unease; the often grating humor and familiar oddities (a plastic-grin TV spokesman) feed viewer irritation, which turns out to aid the film’s agenda. Working under Larry Fessenden’s low-budget horror shingle, young director Graham Reznick is adept enough with sound and rhythm to incorporate, say, a borrowing of Lost Highway expressionism into his technique, which is self-enamored but effective. So much about this movie and its characters should be annoying, but the sensory disorientation climaxes in a freakout that wipes all your troubles away, as well as anything else lying around in your head.



In Graham Reznick’s low-budget debut chiller, “I Can See You,” produced under the aegis of fright maven Larry Fessenden, horror is purely in the eye of the beholder — in this case, a myopic artist-cum-advertising photographer with father issues. A bunch of city-slicker friends camping out in the woods, the hoary setup of innumerable scarefests, is granted a decidedly Lynchian spin as everyday normality goes grotesque. Atmospheric audio fills each leaf and branch with nameless menace, while superimpositions and slow dissolves trace a psychological slide toward disintegration. Critically lauded pic, which bowed April 29 in Gotham, could build a cult following.

Launching their new advertising agency via environmentally toxic cleaning product Claractix, three young New Yorkers (Ben Dickinson, Duncan Skiles, Christopher D. Ford) venture into nature to capture images of purity. But the televised ghost of Claractix’s long-lost 1950s spokesperson (played with eerily cheery insistence by Fessenden) haunts the film, morphing into disturbing images of more familiar demons. Reznick’s sound design effectively jangles nerves, and two setpieces trumpet his visual prowess: a languid lovemaking scene lit by indirect flashlight and a tour-de-force musical number that grows increasingly horrific.

I CAN SEE YOU:  A Psychedelic Campfire Tale

I CAN SEE YOU, the fifth in Larry Fessenden’s celebrated low budget horror ScareFlix anthology, is writer/director Graham Reznick’s debut feature film.  Graham is a Glass Eye Pix regular, having sound designed many past and current Scareflix releases (The Roost, Trigger Man, Automatons and I Sell The Dead, as well as JT. Petty’s Blood Red Earth and Ti West’s The House of The Devil).  I CAN SEE YOU was produced by fellow ScareFlix veteran Peter Phok.

Three aspiring ad-men take a weekend in the wilderness, brainstorming for their first assignment: to overhaul the image of a once popular cleaning product, Claractix. While in the woods, a girlfriend’s mysterious disappearance sparks a harrowing descent into unreality. Personalities contort into extremes and visits are made by a specter from Claractix campaigns of the past as the film careens towards it’s startling climax.

The film’s ad-men are played by real-life members of Waverly Films (Ben Dickinson, Duncan Skiles and Chris Ford), a Brooklyn based production company specializing in commercials, music videos, and who have an immense cult following with their comedic YouTube shorts.  Summer Day, the free spirited temptress destined to drive them apart, is played by Heather Robb (Trigger Man, The House of The Devil, I Sell the Dead), lead singer of popular folk-rock group The Spring Standards.  Long-lost ClarActix pitchman Mickey Hauser is played by producer Larry Fessenden, who describes the movie as “1960’s psychedelia by way of David Lynch with dashes of Philip K. Dick and Cronenberg.”

Reznick says: “I CAN SEE YOU is about the experience of being young and ambitious in New York City, but blind to any sense of responsibility or stakes.  When the naïve lead ad designer in I CAN SEE YOU takes his ill-fated trip into the woods and is faced with an impossible situation, his mind malfunctions.  He doesn’t know how to cope with something outside of his safe, easy existence, and we experience his world shattering breakdown along with him.  I love watching films that show the world through the tinted perspective of another person – and in I CAN SEE YOU we watch the world through the eyes of someone who is quickly losing his grasp on reality.”

THE VIEWER:  A Telepathic Interrogation in Three Dimensions

Glass Eye Pix and Aphasiafilms enter the world of Stereoscopic 3D cinema with “The Viewer,”
a brand new short film written and directed by Graham Reznick.

“The Viewer” is a telepathic interrogation experienced from the perspective of a suspected murderer.  Telepathic Viewing doesn’t come without a price, however; as the suspect resists the mind-reader’s tactics, the “viewing” intensity is increased… dissolving the fragile boundaries
between memory, identity and reality.

Shot using a specialized two camera HD rig
designed by cinematographer Gordon Arkenberg (I Can See You, The Meaning of Tea).
Featuring a multi-dimensiona soundscape designed by Graham Reznick,
“The Viewer” is a psychedelic feast for both the eyes and ears.

Mick Lauer as “The Viewer”
Lindsay Burdge as “The Victim”
and Lena Dunham as “The Voice”
Written and directed by Graham Reznick

“The Viewer” has recently recieved a technical upgrade and is now screenable in both
polarized and shutter based formats, along with the traditional red-blue anaglyph.

“The Viewer” has been an official selection of
Short & Sweet London’s first ever 3D program,
Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors
Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal,
Oldenberg Film Festival in Germany

BEN DICKINSON, “Ben” – Ben grew up in Wheaton, Illinois. He has lost his soul a few times but he has found it again the same amount of times. A member of Waverly Films, he is mostly known as a music video director (LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture, !!!, Q-Tip), has also made some commercials (Absolut, MTV2), and co-directed a pilot for Comedy Central (“The Scariest Show on Television,” featuring Paul F. Thompkins). He will soon direct a feature film of his own.

CHRIS FORD, “Kimble” – Christopher Ford is an actor who was acting since he was only a little kid. He was in many commercials when he was a kid. He was in a Pizza Hut commercial. But Mr. Ford has done so many other things than acting. He has made funny internet videos as a member of Waverly Films, and his Atom Films series “Stickman Exodus” is considered by many to be a very good series. “I believe that you have to pursue a dream as hard as you can,” he has been known to say. “I wish you all the best.”

DUNCAN SKILES, “Doug” – Duncan Skiles grew up in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In high school he produced a cable access show, ‘BurritoVision,’ which helped him get into the NYU film program. There he met Graham Reznick, future director of I CAN SEE YOU. He has directed two pilots for Comedy Central (“The Fuzz” and “The Scariest Show on Television”), as well as a nearly infinite number of hilarious internet videos.Currently Duncan lives and works in New York City with his lovely wife, Masie Cochran.

HEATHER ROBB, “Summer Day” – Heather Robb is an actress and a musician in New York City. Other film credits with Glass Eye Pix include TRIGGER MAN, THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL and I SELL THE DEAD. Like Graham Reznick, she grew up in Delaware and has previously appeared in Graham’s short films WAYNE BLACK and THE WOMAN WHO SPLIT BEFORE DINNER. Her band, The Spring Standards, recently played The Conan O’Briend show, and is currently on tour.

OLIVIA VILLANTI, “Sonia” – Olivia Villanti lives in NYC and graduated from Hampshire College where she studied dance and theater. Most recently she completed filming STRANGER, produced by Amaru films. She has worked with the Cry Havoc Theater Company, the Michael Chekhov Company and continues her studies at the Michael Howard Studios as well as The Actors Center. Growing up in upstate New York, Olivia spent much of her childhood in request.

GRAHAM REZNICK, director – Raised in the quiet suburbs of Wilmington, Delaware, Graham Reznick is a filmmaker, sound designer, artist and musician. While studying film production at New York University he worked on over 50 short film, television, video game and audio projects. Graham has designed sound for acclaimed directors Ti West (THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, THE ROOST, TRIGGER MAN), Glenn McQuaid (I SELL THE DEAD), Jim McKenney (AUTOMATONS), J.T. Petty (BLOOD RED EARTH), Joe Maggio (BITTER FEAST) and has edited music videos for Brooklyn production company Waverly Films (LCD SOUNDSYSTEM, THE JUAN MACLEAN). His sound and editing work has been seen on Showtime, HBO, IFC, VH1, Fearnet and MTV. I CAN SEE YOU is his feature directorial debut.

LARRY FESSENDEN, executive producer – Larry Fessenden is the writer, director and editor of the award-winning art-horror movies HABIT, NO TELLING, and WENDIGO. His most recent film, THE LAST WINTER, starring Ron Perlman, Connie Britton and James Le Gros, premiered at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival, was distributed by IFC FirstTake and is now available on dvd through Genius Products. Fessenden recently directed SKIN AND BONES starring Doug Jones for NBC TV’s horror Anthology FEAR ITSELF.

As a character actor Fessenden has appeared in numerous films, including Neil Jordan’s THE BRAVE ONE, Jim Jarmusch’s BROKEN FLOWERS, Kelly Reichardt’s WENDY AND LUCY, Martin Scorsese’s BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, Steve Buscemi’s ANIMAL FACTORY, Jim Mickle’s MULBERRY STREET, Brad Anderson’s SESSION 9, and IMAGINARY HEROES by Dan Harris. Fessenden stars in HABIT, and the Sundance pictures MARGARITA HAPPY HOUR (Ilya Chaiken) and RIVER OF GRASS (Kelly Reichardt).

Fessenden has been a producer on various projects including Kelly Reichardt’s WENDY AND LUCY, Ti West’s HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, James McKenney’s SATAN HATES YOU, JT Petty’s BLOOD RED EARTH, Ilya Chaiken’s LIBERTY KID, Douglas Buck’s remake of DePalma’s SISTERS, Jeff Winner’s SATELITE and David Gebroe’s ZOMBIE HONEYMOON.

Under his low budget horror banner ScareFlix, Fessenden has produced Ti West’s THE ROOST and TRIGGER MAN, and James Felix McKenney’s THE OFF SEASON and AUTOMATONS, Graham Reznick’s I CAN SEE YOU and Glenn McQuaid’s I SELL THE DEAD. 2009 sees the production of two new Scareflix, Joe Maggio’s BITTER FEAST and Jim Mickle’s STAKELAND, with Jim McKenney’s HYPOTHERMIA to come in early 2010.

Fessenden has operated the production company Glass Eye Pix since 1985, with the mission of supporting individual voices in the arts.

PETER PHOK, producer – PETER PHOK, born in New York City and graduate of the School of Visual Arts, joined the industry with Ti West’s (fellow SVA classmate and collaborator) THE ROOST as an associate producer and production manager. THE ROOST world premiered at the 2005 South by Southwest film festival with great success, earning theatrical release as well as video distribution on DVD with Showtime Films. Phok continued his career working in various capacities as an assistant director, production manager, and line producer on independent films. In 2006, he produced TRIGGER MAN with Ti West and Larry Fessenden. TRIGGER MAN went on to premiere at the 2007 SXSW film festival and is currently available on DVD with Kino International.

Phok continued to produce for Fessenden’s company Glass Eye Pix, debuting Graham Reznick’s I CAN SEE YOU and Glenn McQuaid’s I SELL THE DEAD which stars Ron Perlman and Dominic Monaghan in a 19th century grave robber film. Producing his natural fit, took on J.T. Petty’s short film, BLOOD RED EARTH about a Lakota family during the late 1800’s in the Dakota plains dealing with a mysterious burrowing creature, for FearNet HD as a prequel to Liongate’s THE BURROWERS. Most recently, Phok and Fessenden teamed up with HISTORY OF VIOLENCE executive producers, Roger Kass and Josh Braun, to produce Ti West’s THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL – a period film, set in the 1980’s, about a babysitter working for a satanic worshipping family – for MPI/Dark Sky Films. When not working Peter can usually be found playing golf in Long Island as he considers his next project.

JEFF GRACE, composer – Jeff Grace is a composer working for film, concert and stage. His work has been performed by Flux Quartet, Bulgarica Philharmonia, Lucia Micarelli, Valentina Farcas (Berlin Comic Opera), Marcus DeLoach (New York City Opera), Kenny Barron and members of the Metropolitan and New York Philharmonic orchestras.

Jeff’s recent film credits include Larry Fessenden’s THE LAST WINTER (starring Ron Perlman, James LeGros, and Connie Britton), Ti West’s THE ROOST (starring Tom Noonan and Will Horneff) and TRIGGER MAN, and Ilya Chaiken’s LIBERTY KID. Most recently he has completed Glenn McQuaid’s I SELL THE DEAD (starring Dominic Monaghan, Larry Fessenden, and Ron Perlman) and Ti West’s THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL (Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov, Dee Wallace).

From 2001 to 2004 Jeff was an assistant to Academy Award winning composer Howard Shore working on the three films of Peter Jackson’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, Martin Scorsese’s THE GANGS OF NEW YORK, David Cronenberg’s SPIDER, David Fincher’s PANIC ROOM, and Frank Oz’s THE SCORE. Through that association, Jeff worked with such artists as Renee Fleming, Annie Lennox, Enya, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Kronos Quartet, The London Philharmonic Orchestra, Terry Edward’s London Voices, and top studio orchestras and musicians in London, Los Angeles and New York.

Jeff is represented by Brice Gaeta at International Creative Managagement.

GORDAN ARKENBERG, cinematographer – Gordon Arkenberg grew up in Wyoming, Texas, and Connecticut before studying film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he shot several short films for I CAN SEE YOU director Graham Reznick.

Working as an assistant cameraman in New York City, Gordon gainded professional experience on numerous short films, commercials, music videos, feature films, and television shows, including LAW AND ORDER.

As a cinematographer, Gordon has shot several feature documentaries, including the Vietnam medical documentary AS THE CALL, SO THE ECHO (director Keir Moreano), and the globe-spanning THE MEANING OF TEA (director Scott Hoyt).

Outside of motion pictures, Gordon specializes in experimental astro photography. He is also currently collaborating with photographer Dwight Trimeiano on several experimental short films.