‘I See You’ Ending Explained: Who Is Behind the Murders and Hauntings? (2024)

The Big Picture

  • I See You is a thrilling horror film on Netflix that cleverly combines a serial killer investigation with paranormal events at a detective's home.
  • The movie takes a surprising turn when it reveals that the haunting in the detective's house is actually the work of a phrogger, someone living in the house without permission.
  • The plot twists continue when the phrogger witnesses the detective committing murder and takes matters into their own hands to expose the real serial killer.

Thanks to the power of TikTok, I See You became a sleeper hit when thousands of people caught this 2019 horror film on Netflix. It’s not hard to understand why so many people are fascinated by Adam Randall’s nerve-wracking dive into the world of phrogging, as I See You does a marvelous job of feeding the audience’s paranoia while constantly subverting expectations. The most surprising is that I See You flew under our radar for four years instead of being praised as one of the best horror releases of 2019. It’s great to see I See You getting its well-deserved recognition since it dropped on Netflix, but some fans might still wonder how every plot element fits together by the time the credits roll. So, if any of the many plot twists of I See You confused you while you nervously checked every corner of your home for intruders, we break down everything that happened at that disturbing ending.

‘I See You’ Ending Explained: Who Is Behind the Murders and Hauntings? (1)
I See You

R

A policeman and his doctor wife have some marriage problems and the son blames the mother. For his job, the policeman investigates a case of a missing boy. The possible kidnapping looks like some cases from a few years ago.

Release Date
December 10, 2019

Director
Adam Randall
Cast
Helen Hunt , Jon Tenney , Owen Teague , Judah Lewis

Runtime
98 minutes

Main Genre
Drama

What Is 'I See You' About?

During the first half of I See You, there seem to be two separate storylines developing side by side. First, the disappearance of a ten-year-old boy leads the police to reopen a closed serial killer case. Many years before the events of I See You, several boys were kidnapped, sexually abused, and brutally murdered. The culprit was brought to justice thanks to Detective Spitzky (Gregory Alan Williams) and two boys who managed to escape the villain's clutches. However, while the serial killer is in jail, the clues left behind by the new killer put Spitzky’s work into question – for instance, it’s part of the killer's process to always leave a green pocket knife at the kidnapping scene. So, together with his partner and lead detective, Greg Harper (Jon Tenney), Spitzky needs to figure out if the man he put in jail was innocent or if there’s a copycat on the loose.

Parallel to the serial killer investigation, I See You also explores the paranormal events at Detective Greg Harper’s home. His wife, Jackie (Helen Hunt), had an affair that now threatens to ruin their family. Jackie is doing what she can to fix the situation, but Harper is deeply wounded. In addition, their son, Connor (Judah Lewis), resents his mother and has been acting out. While the family is trying to heal and figure out how to move forward, their house begins to be haunted. Objects go missing, pictures vanish from the framing in the walls, and a bizarre creature with a frog mask can be seen hiding under the bed or lurking in the shadows.

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At first, only Jackie notices these strange events, which leads both Greg and Connor to think she’s trying to avoid dealing with the infidelity issue. However, it’s clear something weird is happening, and once Jackie’s former lover, Todd (Sam Trammell), ends up dead in their basem*nt, Greg can no longer deny the mysterious haunting. The detective convinces his wife to hide Todd’s body since she fears Connor is the murderer and loving parents will do anything to keep their children safe, right? At this point of the story, I See You takes an abrupt shift, adding some found footage scenes and flashbacks that completely change the way we understand previous scenes.

Who’s Haunting the House in 'I See You'?

After spending half its runtime slowly amping up the tension, I See You pulls the rug out from under our feet by showing how there’s nothing supernatural happening at the Harper’s house. The movie suddenly shifts its focus to tell the story of Mindy (Libe Barer), a phrogging expert doing a documentary about the strange practice of living in other people’s houses without their consent or awareness. Mindy brought Alec (Owen Teague) along to the Harpers’ place to have someone to share the experience and to teach a first-time phrogger how to remain undetected. Unfortunately for Mindy, Alec seems to have plans of his own.

While Mindy’s goal is to spend a few days in the Harpers' place, eating their food and finding shelter, Alec seems determined to make the family feel like they are going crazy. Alec is the one who steals cutlery, messes up framed pictures, and even pees in Greg’s bed while the man is asleep. As days pass, Alec becomes bold with his pranks and Mindy desperately tries to control him. At this point, we might think Alec is the one behind Todd’s death, and we can even wonder if the young man is the serial killer copycat. However, I See You still has many tricks up its sleeve.

Who’s the Serial Killer in 'I See You'?

While hiding from the Harpers during the day, Mindy witnesses Greg killing Todd in a fit of jealousy. She decides to warn Alec, only to find her partner tying up an unconscious Connor in the bathtub. Mindy and Alec get into a fight after she threatens to call the police, and Alec accidentally pushes her down the stairs. Mindy hits her head pretty badly, passing out from the trauma. Fearing the consequences of his actions, Alec hides Mindy’s body in the trunk of Greg’s car.

When Mindy wakes up in Greg’s trunk, she finds a plastic bag filled with green pocket knives. She also finds the clothes of one of the missing boys, realizing that Greg is the serial killer. While running away in the woods, Mindy calls the police and asks them to track her location. Finally, she reaches a trailer where Greg is holding two children prisoner. While trying to free them, Mindy falls victim to Greg, who smothers her unconscious. Greg takes Mindy back to his house and shoots her dead to stage a crime that didn’t happen. Alec sees Mindy’s dead body and fights Greg. The detective overpowers the young man and decides to pin the blame for everything on Alec. To make his story real, Greg stabs himself. While the detective is distracted, Alec wakes up and manages to shoot Greg down with his own gun. The serial killer is dead, but I See You still has one more surprise for the audience.

When the police arrive at the Harpers’ place, lured by Mindy’s cellphone signal, Detective Spitzky immediately recognizes Alec. As it turns out, Alec was one of the two boys who escaped Greg many years ago. It’s not by accident that Alec decided to join Mindy in her phrogging experience. Alec knew the wrong man had been arrested and wanted to take revenge on the real serial killer. While the movie doesn’t tell us that, since no serial killer cases were reported since the fake arrest many years before, we can also assume Greg started killing again after his wife cheated on him. Couples counseling probably would have been better..

I See You is available to stream now on Netflix.

Watch on Netflix

  • Movie Features
  • Horror
  • Helen Hunt

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