Cooper Karl’s Sightless is a story which can be called a subtle thriller, yet not since it doesn’t give those vibes as such. So the story revolves around Ellen Ashland (Riverdale‘s popular Madelaine Petch AKA Cheryl Blossom) who, one night, is attacked by a masked man with pepper spray right in her eyes and is knocked down. She later wakes up in the hospital only to realize that she is blind and the damage done is irreversible. On preliminary investigation by Detective Bryce (Jarrod Crawford), it is assumed that the attacker must’ve been an enemy of Ellen’s ex-husband.
She is later moved to a high-rise apartment on Ellen’s brother’s recommendation and is looked after by a male nurse whose name is Clayton (Alexander Koch). As they say, an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. So, when alone, Ellen goes exploring her new house only to discover something mysterious about it. She hears voices from the house next door through a vent. Out of sheer loneliness, she leaves a sticky note on the door of the house next door inviting the residents for tea. That’s how she meets Lana (December Ensminger) who is just as complicated and intricate as one could think. This is the point the movie starts to get interesting.
Ellen goes through numerous life-threatening experiences which bring back her memories of the night she was attacked but all of what she feels or perceives isn’t real according to Detective Bryce. Here is the complication. According to human psychology, what we see is what we perceive. But how should a blind person perceive? Through their experiences? Or how?
For a moment, to me, it felt like Ellen was hallucinating the presence of a subject in her house apart from Clayton due to the medicines she was prescribed. But later as the movie progressed, I was proved wrong. Ellen was even forced to think she was losing her mind amidst the chaos going on around her and resorted to committing suicide.
Petsch is no stranger to drama and intrigue, having to deal with loads of it on Riverdale. And she definitely doesn’t disappoint her fans in Sightless. The actress is literally in one setting for 90 per cent of the movie but through brilliant use of her facial expressions, she projects her terror in not being able to see and being overwhelmed by her other senses, especially her hearing.
Through some stunning visuals and camera angles, we are entertained by a few jumpscares. The intrigue doesn’t stop in Sightless at any point and it connotes an almost Hitchcockian atmosphere with undertones of Rear Window and the 1967 psychological thriller Wait Until Dark starring Audrey Hepburn, in which she stars as a blind woman being terrorised as well.
I was impressed and I have to say that I was mostly influenced to watch Sightless because of Petsch. The twists and turns are satisfying and highly entertaining. You are not going to want to miss this one. Thrillers do not get enough love, in my opinion, and I think it important to support the handful of them that put their best foot forward, and where you can clearly see some heart went into it.
Sightless is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
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