Are there enough redemptions to turn a blind eye to the weaker elements, or does this indie release stumble and fall?
I love getting immersed into a clever, gripping psychological thriller/horror and it is safe to say that Sightless is not in that category, mostly because it’s incredulous and heightened beyond seriousness.
Ellen Ashland (Madelaine Petsch) is a victim of a mysterious acid attack which leaves her blind and needing the assistance of a caretaker, Clayton (Alexander Koch), to aid her transition to a world of no sight. However, Ellen is terrified her attacker could return and with strange neighbours next door it doesn’t take long to question her new reality.
Sightless is another film to add to the ‘blind female violinist series’ after Blink and The Eye but not one that you must rush to see. Cooper Karl directs and writes this feature adapted from his 2017 short. With a shorter run-time the premise of the film might hold up and boast shocks or chills, but even in this relatively brief 90 minute outing it feels like a laughable slog to keep watching.
The film swiftly loses sight of any potentially scary moments and the prospect of entertaining psychological mind-games is lost faster than it takes to call the outcomes of this plot within the first ten minutes. If a script allows me to deduce exactly what will happen over an hour before its ‘twists’ occur, then a better movie would have style or nerve-shredding fear to outweigh its storytelling flaws: this is not one of those better movies.
It is a shame that not even Sightless’ performances can save the day and bring light to a murky waste of time. Madelaine Petsch attempts valiantly to build and then maintain a momentum of paranoia and anxiety, but against a weak script and a loud cliched thriller score from Phillip Lober, the entire product bears more similarity to soap opera than horror.