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I Saw the TV Glow

Country: United States, Language: English, 100 mins

  • Director: Jane Schoenbrun
  • Writer: Jane Schoenbrun
  • Producer: Ali Herting, Sam Intili, Dave McCary, Taylor Shung, Emma Stone, Sarah Winshall

CGiii Comment

Teenager Owen is just trying to make it through life in the suburbs when his classmate introduces him to a mysterious late-night TV show — a vision of a supernatural world beneath their own. In the pale glow of the television, Owen’s view of reality begins to crack.

Writer-director Jane Schoenbrun’s We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (2021 Sundance Film Festival) introduced us to a new genre of their own design: emo horror. Their follow-up feature builds upon that vibe, worming its way into the subconscious with an equally potent autopsy of reality versus fiction. As Owen, Justice Smith exudes a quiet vulnerability, while co-lead Brigette Lundy-Paine displays a confident yet awkward conviction. Schoenbrun has a knack for portraying the trappings of adolescent family life with nuance and a welcome ambiguity, freeing audience members to relate in a way that is best suited to their own experiences. I Saw the TV Glow forces us to consider whether the memories of our youth betrayed us, or if something more sinister is at play.—AM


Cast & Characters

Michael C. Maronna
Justice Smith
Danielle Deadwyler
Brigette Lundy-Paine
Amber Benson
Emma Portner
Conner O'Malley
Danny Tamberelli
Helena Howard
Ian Foreman
Marlyn Bandiero (as Brenda's Friend)
Will Fitz (as Laser Tag Player)
Timothy Griffin Allan (as Lance (as Tim Allan))
Lindsey Jordan
Michael Twaine (as Older theatre goer 1)
Kenneth Kyle Martinez (as Charlie's Father)
Jonathan Chacko
Elaine Apruzzese (as A Fun Center Patron / Carnival Patron (uncredited))
Cynthia Clancy (as Election Day Volunteer (uncredited))
Julissa Piatt (as Kid At A Party (uncredited))