Where I Watched it: Netflix
English Audio Description?: no
British Audio Description?: Yes!
Honestly, there’s a first time for everything, and that’s the first time I’ve noticed that my audio description was labeled specifically as British, not English. It’s the same language, so it’s not a big deal, all they’re asking of you is to know that a torch is a flashlight. And I’d rather have 100% audio description across all titles, and have to remind myself that boot means trunk than to not have any audio description.
And this horror(?) thriller (?) is really like the British answer to Don’t Breathe, or any number of those films where the youth of society break into some place they really should not have, with emphasis on “really”.
But, they take a very Downton Abbey/The Crown elevated level of approaching this subject matter. Is there violence? Sure. But not on the level that our American directors have routinely made us feel uncomfortable with. Hugh Bonneville at no point removes someone’s face and wears it as his own. no one has their entrails ripped out and strewn about all willy nilly. This is straight up just a film more interested in the story behind the horror than the horror itself. In fact, frequently when offered the chance to go gory, the film goes a different way. It chooses to make you uncomfortable, and for an American audience so used to seeing graphically disturbing violence on the regular, it feels like it’s withholding just for some power punch ending.
That’s not what this film is. I still am not really sure why this film is called I came By. I respect the hell out of this film for managing to just keep you feeling uneasy for its relatively short runtime, and makes good use of its rather limited cast. This seems like a film that could quickly turn into a body count film, but it’s not inspired by those films at all. It feels like it’s intentionally pushing back on any preconceived notions you may have about just how violent it needs to be, and instead opts for that constant sense of dread.
It’s a smart horror, if we can call it that, title. most people in this genre will hate this film because no one has their face ripped off. But, other people will notice that the biggest star is Hugh Bonneville and perhaps their expectations lie elsewhere and you can appreciate what years ago might have made for a solid episode of The Twilight Zone.
The aforementioned audio description does the trick, and like I said, you just need to remember a couple of word swaps. Mostly, while this isn’t my favorite horror film of the year, I can easily appreciate what was trying to be done, and the restraint it takes to not just pull the easy ripcord of gore and jump scares.
Is it for everyone? No. But maybe the fact that it’s not says a lot more about how little we look for thematic material anymore in our horror films, and instead want the goriest thing we can get. We now live in a brave new world where the gory and disturbing Hereditary and midsummer are the benchmarks. This is very far removed from that.
Final Grade: B