I See You explained: Alec, the plot & what’s phrogging?

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There are many movies about home invasions, and it’s no surprise that they all come out as horror films. Among them, however, there is a movie from 2019 that starts as a supernatural horror, and then what you see until half of the vision is explained from a different perspective. The film is I See You, it’s been on Netflix since March 2023, and it involves a child abductor, a broken family, many inexplicable events happening at home, and the concept of “phrogging.” Let’s explore the plot and the ending analytically.

You can watch the official trailer for I See You here on Youtube.

I See You explained: the child abductor & the strange events at Harper’s house

In I See You, we watch the Harper family, made of a husband (Greg, a police officer), a wife (Jackie, a doctor), and a son (Connor, a student). They live in an area where a child abductor operates: he’s never been caught, although he killed several children years before, and now he’s apparently back. We know from the plot that two kids escaped him in the past, and one of them is still missing. This is a key aspect of the story that will be useful later, so keep it in mind. What’s less important is the fact that Jackie cheated on Greg.

During the movie’s first half, we see strange things happening at Harper’s house: photos and objects disappearing, music and tv switching on by themselves, the guy repairing the window enters their home saying that “their daughter let him in” (even though no daughter ever exists). One day, Greg follows their hamster inside a closet, and he’s shut inside it; we see a dark figure out of the closet, but we don’t know who or what it is. Another day, Greg wakes up completely wet and has no idea what happened.

Then one night, things escalate: Jackie is visited by her old lover, Todd, who’s still in love with her. While they talk in the garden, a mug hits his head, falling from the roof. Jackie assumes it was her son Connor, the only one at home at that moment. She brings Todd into the basement, takes Connor to school, and returns to care for her former lover. But as soon as she’s back, she finds him dead on the floor. What happens next goes quite fast: Greg is back, and he’s shocked by the presence of Todd’s body, but he helps his wife; they bring the body in the car and bury it in the woods. When they are back, they find Connor tied up in the bathtub, and Greg recognizes the green pocket knife in the bathroom, the same one used by the killer as a signature. Up to this point, we feel that the killer is attacking the Harper family, and Connor is almost another victim. But a plot twist is ready for us: let’s see how I See You has explained the plot so far from a new perspective.

The plot twist: what is phrogging?

At that point, two new characters are introduced in the movie: Mindy and Alec, two homeless teenagers dedicated to phrogging. As they explained in their video recordings, phrogging is a term used to describe the practice of sneaking into someone else’s home and living there without their knowledge or consent. The term comes from the word “frog,” as the phrogger is essentially “leaping” into someone else’s living space. 

Mindy’s idea is to live at Harper’s home for four or five days and then move again. During those days, we see the inexplicable events of the movie from their point of view, and we understand that there was no ghost or other supernatural entity: it was them, mainly Alec, pranking them. Alec seems pretty obsessed with scaring the Harper family. It was him peeing on Greg while he was sleeping, and he also intended to attack Connor. At this moment, everything wants to convince us that Alec is the child abductor (although this chance is unrealistic, Alec was just a child when the other kids were killed).

We keep watching the last days at the Harper’s house from Mindy’s perspective, and we discover the plot twist: it was Greg hitting Todd on his head, killing him. Greg’s reaction, as we saw it in the movie’s first half, was fake. While Jackie and Greg are out to bury Todd’s body, Mandy has a violent confrontation with Alec at home and hits her head, losing consciousness. Alec hides her in Greg’s car.

After they bury Todd, Greg and Jacke return home and find Connor in the bathtub. Greg sees the green pocket knife and panics. Jackie brings Connor to the hospital. Immediately after, we see Greg taking his car (not knowing that Mandy is hidden there). He drives into the woods, where the last young victim is attacked. Mandy exits the car and discovers a hidden van where kids are held as hostages. At that moment, she’s attacked by Greg. This is how the movie I See You has explained the child abductor’s identity: it has always been Greg. His surprise seeing the green pocket knife comes from the fact that this is his own signature: who brought the same knife into his bathroom?

This brings us to the movie ending: let’s see how the movie I See You explained the events at the end.

I See You ending explained

Greg finds Mandy’s camera and understands she’s been phrogging into his home with another guy. He comes up with a plan: while Jackie and Connor are at the hospital, he brings Mandy back home and stages a home intrusion. Greg kills Mandy, leaves her body on the floor, and then looks for the other phrogger. Alec seems ready: he has called the police already; he attacks Greg and finally manages to kill him. When the police arrive, they find enough evidence to understand that Greg is the child abductor. Jackie and Connor return home: they will soon find out that Greg was a killer, and now he’s dead.

In the last scene of I See You, we see a flashback from Alec’s point of view: he was the kid missing years before, and he’s always known Greg’s face. This explains why he’s so creepy and tries to scare the Harper family: he recognized Greg immediately when he entered their home from the photos on the wall. All his pranks and everything he did while staying in their home was an act of revenge against the criminal who changed his life when he was a kid.

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