I Came By (2022) Movie Review – A conglomerate cocktail of better thrillers

A conglomerate cocktail of better thrillers

I Came By is essentially a conglomerate cocktail of better thrillers. There’s a little bit of Don’t Breathe, some Watchdogs in here and a bit of V for Vendetta. Oh and a big ol’ dollop of questionable plotting too. Armed with an incredibly unlikable protagonist, a tired and rehashed “rich VS poor” theme and a final act that goes completely off the rails, I Came By’s potential comes quickly but soon peters out into forgettable fluff.

It’s a shame too because the story actually starts off really well. There’s a graffiti artist out there terrorizing people’s homes, breaking in and leaving the note “I Came By” scrawled across the walls. This artist is no Banksy though, generating mixed reactions from the public.

It soon becomes clear that the culprit is a rebellious, angry, young adult called Toby. He can’t hold down a job longer than a week, is upset that his best friend Jay is having a baby (as it’s less time to fool around and spread their activist message) and he doesn’t respect his mum, Liz.

In fact, Toby regularly messes with Lizzie, stealing the remote control, gaslighting her for his father’s passing and refusing to help out around the house. This is the protagonist, by the way, the guy we’re supposed to be rooting for. Anyway, Toby’s anger is ultimately projected onto the rich elite and who better to send a message to than the squeaky clean ex-Judge Hector.

Well-respected in the community and with a good relationship with the cops, Toby decides to break into his place and figure out if there are any juicy details he can get hold of. Unfortunately, what he finds inside is a shocking secret that turns his life upside down and brings with it a spiraling sense of doom that swallows up not just Toby but also his mother and best friend too.

The story builds nicely for the first 45 minutes or so, but the screenplay is incredibly uneven, with the second half completely running out of ideas. There’s clearly a desire to shock here and admittedly, there are a couple of surprising turns too. But twists for twisting sake does not make a good movie and that’s where I Came By falters.

It’s not too much of a spoiler to say the narrative switches halfway through to focus more on Liz and Jay, as they try to solve the mystery of Hector’s house. The whiplash effect this has though, causes more harm than good to the screenplay. There’s no urgency here because, as I said before, Toby is so damn unlikable. He has no redeeming features other than being played by George Mackay.

Speaking of acting, everyone here puts in a really good performance, with Hugh Bonneville doing well in his role to stand out, given the weak material he’s given. Hector’s motivations are so cliched that I’m surprised he didn’t have a twirling moustache and a pet cat.

It’s not all bad though and I Came By does have some stand-out elements. The first half of the narrative is quite good, as mentioned above, whilst no one really has plot armour either, with intensifies encounters. For all its flaws with the screenplay, the final act is actually quite gripping as a result, whilst the ending is quite unpredictable too.

But as mentioned above, unpredictability and big twists can only get you so far. This film doesn’t have the narrative chops to carry it through the more questionable elements and Toby’s character is up there with one of the most unlikable seen in a film this year. It’s not outright awful and the star casting and premise are likely to get a lot of eyeballs on it – just don’t expect anything particularly remarkable from this one. It’ll like come by as quickly as it’ll go.


Read More: I Came By Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 5/10

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