It’s so rare to find a good mindjob movie that zigs, zags, and inside-outs itself, on its way towards the finish line. But that is what you can expect from this great little indie film, Sightless. If you haven’t seen it it, you can find Sightless right here. Definitely worth a watch. But the question still remains, Did you figure out the film Sightless? Because, it really was a doozy!
Now, because this is a slippery one – with plenty of surprises up its sleeve… I would highly suggest you check out the movie before you read any further. Like STRONGLY. Alright? Great. Thanks for that.
Sightless Movie Walkthrough
As the movie opens, Ellen Ashland (played by Madelaine Petsch) is attacked one night by an unknown attacker wearing a gas mask. And unfortunately for her, when she comes to in the hospital, she’s completely blind. When the police check in on her, she explains to Detective Bryce what little she knows. But the Detective is pretty certain that her ex, who apparently has a number of enemies, is the one that setup the attacks. Ellen’s brother talks with her, and arranges for her care with ‘the Lamborghini of care,’ nurse Clayton. He puts her up in a hidden apartment in the city, and she is charged with learning how to live with her newly found blindness. Clayton does his best to get her used to this new life, but it would seem that Ellen has more issues than just being blind.
There in the apartment, she notices a few strange things about the place. For example, she notices that at one window, there is no noise coming in from the outside world. At another moment in the film she mentions that a car alarm goes off every other day at precisely 11:00am. Clayton, dismisses the oddities, and even goes so far as to provide explanations for each one. Double pane windows. Someone going to work at the same time each day.
But a central element of this movie, which will become fairly important the deeper into the movie you go, is the idea of…when you are blind, you can make reality anything you want it to be. A bird he brings her…at first she envisions it to be green, but he tells her that it is blue. A woman next door goes from an assumed normal looking female…but when she touches her face it would appear to be recently cut, and injured. Her ability to perceive what is really going on is severely hampered by her lack of sight. She’s either being extraordinarily paranoid, or all the world is out to get her. And worse? Clayton has to be in on it.
Regardless, one day she hears screams coming from the apartment next door. After inviting her over the next day for tea, she meets the woman and learns that her name is Lana. They have a touch and go introduction, but when Ellen begins accusing Lana of lying to her, things quickly go off the rails. Lana’s supposedly abusive husband arrives at the door to come retrieve Lana. And Ellen is shocked when she touches Lana’s face and finds a wound, and stitches there. And so, Ellen reaches out to Detective Bryce, who sends over Office Neiman to talk to Ellen’s neighbor and make sure everything is alright. And who knew, she has a history of mental illness. So maybe the “abusive” husband is the good guy in this happy situation??
When Clayton begins showing a romantic interest in Ellen, things begin to go a little pear shaped. Later, Ellen thinks Lana comes into the apartment again, but it turns out to be Lana’s husband, who calls her names and tells her to leave his wife alone. Thankfully(?) Clayton arrives and comforts her after the abusive man leaves. He declares his undying love for her. And Ellen, like a boss, shuts Clayton down. Telling him that what she needs is that amazing caretaker, not a love interest. Soon after Clayton leaves, she is attacked again by the person in the gas mask, and she is knocked unconscious. When she wakes, she calls 911, and the paramedic tells her that she doesn’t have any marks or bruises on her neck. And we wonder if Ellen is really all there? Especially after Detective Bryce arrives and let’s her know that there was no one in the apartment’s hallways, or in entered her room after Clayton left. She must have been imagining it. And that is when we jump backwards to the beginning and watch as she writes a suicide note, and then jumps off the balcony.
Or not. Instead of dying, Ellen fell 6 feet and was just fine. She quickly discovers that she’s in a soundproofed room. A room without a door. A room with speakers that play the sounds of the city. A fictional city, and a fictional high-rise. She’s locked in. She’s trapped. After climbing back into her “apartment,” she heads out and knocks on Lana’s door. And Lana tells her that this is home…that there is no leaving. When Clayton comes back he tries to convince her that, yes, this is a little extreme. And yes, a bit abnormal. But, it’s all her betterment and her recovery. I mean, she did just try and kill herself right? She obviously has PTSD after the attack. This is all a bit much, but apparently very necessary. But in a flash, Ellen realizes that everyone that she has interacted with since the attack must all be the same person – Clayton. Well, except for Lana. Realizing this truth, she knocks Clayton out, and runs for it. Taking his keys, she is able to get out of the fake apartment complex. When she finds Lana, Lana let’s her know that the only way out is through a vent in Clayton’s room. We also learn that Lana is Clayton’s sister, and that Lana assisted Clayton in kidnapping her. When she tells Ellen that it was her that saved him, and that that is why, Ellen is very confused.
Clayton, out of nowhere, cracks Ellen a good one, knocking her completely out. When she comes to, Clayton monologues…and monologues. (This bothered me completely. Can we get away from very very simplistic reasons why our villains are the monsters that they are? Could we not learn from Nolan’s Joker who never told us anything, while telling us everything over and over again? Anyway.) We learn that after Clayton and Lana’s mother died, their father kept them captive in the attic for 3 years. And during their captivity, Lana played Ellen’s music for them…and in so doing, she saved them. And also resulting in Clayton’s obsession with Ellen. Ellen knocks him unconscious all over again and opens the vent. But, unable to get out, she finds the chemical that ruined her eyes, and she sprayed it into Clayton’s eyes. When Lana discovered Clayton blinded and handicapped, she takes Lana out towards the outside world.
Did You Figure Out the Film Sightless?
Did you see the ending coming? I’ll admit, that the moment Clayton told Ellen that the bird could be blue, or green, or whatever color she wanted it to be, I knew that she was not where she thought she was. I actually thought that after she jumped out the balcony window, when she came back in, everything would be dramatically different. Like an all white decor, where everything felt like it did, but had no color to it at all.
You know? And it sort of did that. The paintings were just place holders. But it wasn’t dramatic enough for me to make the point. The music rose like – WOOOO! DIFFERENT! But I had to look closely to differentiate it from what she had thought it looked like.
I also assumed that when Clayton told her that the bird could be whatever color she wanted it to be, that it would go one step further. Let me see if I can explain. I thought that maybe Ellen was caught up in what her husband had done. That she actually was not just implicitly involved, but explicitly involved. That she had wronged someone, and that that someone was Clayton. And all Clayton wanted was for her to apologize, or something. You know? Yes, Clayton is wrong to be doing this…the ends don’t justify the means, BUT, he is trying to do the right thing. I’d mention a couple movies that have done this, but I don’t want to ruin them, in case you haven’t seen them yet.
All in all, I really did enjoy Sightless very much. It was a swing for the fence when most movies aren’t even surviving the pandemic…if you know what I mean. It’s a fun twist. It’s an interesting reveal. I will say that Ellen’s ability to knock Clayton out not once, but twice, even though blind leaps beyond plausible. We can overlook these minor flaws and just applaud the attempt.
If you’d like to watch other movies like Sightless, try the movie Host – a zoom meeting thriller. Had a blast watching Host with my buddies on a zoom call. Yes. It was very trippy. What Keeps You Alive – a story about two women on a romantic getaway, of sorts. In Darkness, another thriller with a blind woman at its center. Or maybe 10×10, about a man who captures a woman…and sneaky stuff happens! You are welcome. Those are good recommendations, thank you very much.
Edited by: CY