SIGHTLESS (2020) Reviews and overview [updated]

 

‘You can’t escape what you can’t see’

Sightless is a 2020 American thriller feature film about a young woman that is attacked and rendered blind. As a result, she withdraws from the world to recover. However, she soon plunges into paranoia, unable to convince anyone that her assailant has returned to terrorise her by hiding in plain sight…

Written and directed by Cooper Karl – based on his 2017 short of the same name – the movie stars Alexander Koch, Madelaine Petsch (Riverdale), Deniz Akdeniz and Matthew Yang King.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Neither as clever, nor as shocking as it thinks it is, and very limited in setting and otherwise […] but the whole thing is so disjointedly put together, the thrills so cheap and the big twist so foreseeable, not even Petsch’s solid turn can make up for the film’s preposterous messiness.” CineMarvellous!

“There are many moments in this movie that feel unrealistic and pure fluff to get a good shot or to get a specific line in there. Overall, the story lack originality in the worst ways. We get a movie full of scenes we’ve already seen in other movies before. From the rather awful In Darkness (2018) to the well-executed Spanish horror movie Julia’s Eyes (2010) – which you should watch instead…” Heaven of Horror

“As paranoid thrillers go, Sightless isn’t half bad before it — pardon me — loses its way. And even after that, it manages a moment or two even as it frustrates you with its many blown possibilities […] And then, in resolving that mystery, it goes completely off the rails. I mean, we can’t expect Wait Until Dark or In Darkness every time out. But come on.” Movie Nation

“Cooper Karl writes and directs Sightless from his own short film, so there’s an obvious fondness for the material that doesn’t seem warranted. But some glimmers of a better experience suggest, by extension, slightly better things for the future of the filmmaker. This is a film that, fittingly, you’re better off not seeing.” Ready Steady Cut

“The sad fact is though, that despite all this amazing potential, and groundwork, there was no huge shocker at the end.  I had the plot twist figured out right from the beginning […] I was hoping for a double bluff, and it never came.  Predictable thrillers are always going to be a disappointment.” Trailer Trashed

Director’s comment:

On December 5, 2020, Cooper Karl apparently posted the following on review site Letterboxd:

“I wrote and directed this film.  I love seeing everyone’s reviews, so this is me shouting a big ol THANK YOU for watching my first movie.

It’s exciting to see how people react to the ‘perception vs. reality’ format of the story. I wanted to make up new rules and really stick to them (out of respect for the audience, go figure); nothing unfolds on screen that Ellen (Madelaine Petsch) doesn’t hear, perceive or imagine.  Then, use this device against the audience.  Within the smaller scale and budget limitations of a first feature, this was our way of lending a fresh accent to the suspense.

The whole process has been a weird, wonderful, and fun learning experience, thus I’m grateful for the comments and critiques (whichever way they swing).  Thanks for checking out our hard work, and my humble first submission into my favorite genre, inspired by Rear Window, Misery, and Wait Until Dark.”

Release:

Sightless is available to rent or buy On-Demand from Amazon.com

Sightless has also been released to stream via Netflix.

Cast and characters:

Alexander Koch … Clayton
Madelaine Petsch … Ellen
Deniz Akdeniz … Nurse Omar
Matthew Yang King … Doctor Katsuro
Lee Jones … Russo
Jarrod Crawford … Detective Bryce
December Ensminger … Lana
Mikandrew … Paramedic Rafferty
Courtney Compton … Doctor Compton
Karolina Protsenko … Young Ellen

Filming locations:

Los Angeles and North Hollywood, California

Technical details:

89 minutes

Notes:

Ignore the obviously fake 10/10 user ‘reviews’ on IMDb.

Related:

BLIND (2019) Reviews and overview

SEE FOR ME (2020) Home invasion thriller with an iPhone app twist

EYES OF A STRANGER (1981) Reviews and overview

SEE NO EVIL aka BLIND TERROR (1971) Reviews and overview

WAIT UNTIL DARK (1967) Reviews and overview

Trailer:

Our own score: