COLUMN: “I Came By” offers familiar thrills in a fairly suspenseful way


Rob Le Cates

Drew Coffey is a sophomore television and video production major and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Drew Coffey, Columnist

A Netflix original movie where there aren’t annoying characters and actors giving weak performances for a large check? 

It seems there is a first for everything.  

However, this is a small and safe step in the right direction.  

“I Came By” was directed by Babak Anvari and stars Hugh Bonneville, George MacKay, Percelle Ascott, and Kelly Macdonald.  

It tells the story of a graffiti artist who discovers that a well-known judge is hiding a monstrous secret within his home. With this newfound discovery, the artist as well as others try to bring justice to the grotesque acts of Judge Blake. 

To start, the marketing for this film is incredibly misleading.  

The film makes viewers think that George MacKay’s character will be a leading part of the film. However, that is not the case, and his character is barely in the film. 

With that being said, it does help the film by establishing that nobody is safe from Judge Blake and that there are no happy endings for some people.  

The acting in this film is also very impressive with Percelle Ascott being a notable standout. He plays the friend of Geroge MacKay’s character and brings a wide range of emotions to his performance in an appropriate way.  

Hugh Bonneville, known mainly for “Downton Abbey”, is also very entertaining as the menacing Judge Blake that covers his tracks when others try to reveal his secret to the police.  

The characters in this film are also understandable with their actions except for a few instances. 

The writing also does a good job at informing the audience of why Judge Blake commits unspeakable acts and how his childhood has affected him into his adulthood. It does this in a way that is subtle and not just an exposition dump to give the audience information.   

“I Came By” does provide some thrills and suspense that makes viewers want to continue watching and wanting to see what happens to the characters. With this, the film keeps you adequately engaged throughout its runtime.  

Visually, the cinematography and camera work in “I Came By” is static and unremarkable. Not to say that it is terribly mediocre, but there is nothing to set it apart from other thriller films.  

What this film really struggles from is not leaving a strong enough impression that makes the audience think about it even within minutes after the credits roll. 

It is a run-of-the-mill thriller that struggles to find its own voice.  

With competent but uninspired cinematography and a story that does the most with what it can, “I Came By” is a film that will unfortunately disappear within Netflix’s catalog by the end of the month.  

Drew Coffey is a sophmore television/video production major. He can be reached at 217-581-2812 or at [email protected].