I Came By (Netflix Review 2022) Film

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The Intriguing World of “I Came By”: A Netflix Thriller


Netflix’s latest release, “I Came By,” is a gripping home invasion thriller that offers a chilling performance by Hugh Bonneville. Directed by Babak Anvari, known for his previous works such as “Under the Shadow” and “Wounds,” this film brings together a talented British cast and presents a plot that delves into themes of elitism and intrigue. While it may have flown under the radar upon its release, “I Came By” captures the attention and curiosity of viewers until its plot twists begin to pile up. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the intriguing world of “I Came By.”

A Criminal Pursuit Against Elitism

In the bustling city of London, two graffiti writers, Toby (portrayed by George MacKay) and Jay (played by Percelle Ascott), make it their mission to target the wealthy elite. Together, they infiltrate the security systems of penthouse apartments belonging to these elites and leave a bold message on their walls: “I Came By.” This symbolic warning aims to make their victims uncomfortable and ignite a desire in others to challenge the unjust system of wealth distribution. Their next target is Hector Blake (Hugh Bonneville), a respected judge who has recently retired after a long and esteemed career. Known as “Saint Blake” for his dedication to helping refugees and asylum seekers, Toby suspects that there may be a dark secret hidden in Blake’s family history that connects him to a long line of colonizers.

However, Jay’s priorities begin to shift when he learns that his girlfriend Naz (played by Varada Sethu) is pregnant. Conscious of the risks involved, Jay decides that it’s time to step away from their criminal pursuits and focus on becoming a responsible father. Toby, left annoyed by the sudden change of plans, decides to proceed with the mission alone and breaks into Blake’s home during the night. Little does he know that he will stumble upon something horrifying in the basement. This shocking discovery shakes Toby to his core, compelling him to devise a plan to bring down Blake once and for all.

The Intriguing façade of Hector Blake

Saying much more about “I Came By,” including the basement’s secret, would spoil the suspenseful journey for viewers. However, it is important to note that the film begins brilliantly, effectively setting up its exploration of class divisions, elitism, and character dynamics. The performances contribute significantly to the film’s allure. George MacKay embodies Toby’s prickly and complex nature, portraying a character driven by noble intentions to fight against the elite and the systemic inequalities in society. However, Toby’s single-minded focus on graffitiing and his general disregard for those around him reflect a state of arrested development. In stark contrast, Jay’s shifting priorities and desire for a stable family life make for an interesting dynamic between the two characters.

Meanwhile, the stunning transformation of Hugh Bonneville as Blake adds another layer of intrigue to “I Came By.” Bonneville, known for his kind and comforting roles in series like “Downton Abbey” and the “Paddington” franchise, offers a completely different performance here. Blake uses charm as a mask, using his chuckles to conceal his sinister intentions. Toby’s suspicions about the judge’s true nature prove to be justified, as there is indeed more to Blake than meets the eye. The chilling aspect lies not only in his motives but also in his ability to navigate the corridors of power unnoticed, thanks to his connections with influential figures, as portrayed through his photographs with the likes of Richard Branson and Tony Blair.

An Unpredictable Path

Babak Anvari expertly crafts tension from seemingly ordinary situations, ensuring an effective buildup of suspense during the initial forty minutes of “I Came By.” However, as the narrative progresses, the film begins to lose some of its momentum. Coincidentally, the decline coincides with the introduction of the first of many plot twists. While this twist initially injects excitement and audacity into the story, the subsequent excess of unexpected turns compromises the overall satisfaction and fulfillment of the conclusion. Additionally, the film deviates from its initial exploration of elitism and class clashes, leaving viewers longing for a more consistent examination of these themes.

Netflix’s British Thriller

“I Came By” serves as an example of Netflix’s expansion into the realm of British content. While the film does have its flaws, such as the accumulation of unnecessary plot twists and a somewhat anticlimactic ending, it succeeds in delivering a tense, grisly, and at times chilling crime thriller experience. The inclusion of both urban and rural settings effectively conveys the persistent clash between different societal classes, even when the theme itself takes a back seat. The performances, particularly Bonneville’s and Kelly Macdonald’s portrayal of Toby’s therapist mother Lizzie, elevate the film and help maintain engagement despite its occasional lulls. Moreover, Anvari’s ability to extract terror from the home invasion premise remains a notable aspect, even as “I Came By” stumbles into the final stretch.


In conclusion, “I Came By” offers a captivating journey into the realm of a home invasion crime thriller, tackling themes of elitism and class divisions. While the film showcases remarkable performances and effectively builds tension early on, the excessive reliance on plot twists, coupled with a relatively unsatisfying ending, dampens its impact. Nevertheless, “I Came By” manages to deliver a tense and chilling experience that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the release date for “I Came By”?

“I Came By” was released in UK cinemas on August 19, 2022, and globally on Netflix on August 31, 2022.

2. Who are the main characters in “I Came By”?

The main characters in “I Came By” include Toby (portrayed by George MacKay), Jay (played by Percelle Ascott), Hector Blake (played by Hugh Bonneville), and Toby’s therapist mother Lizzie (played by Kelly Macdonald).

3. Is “I Came By” a British production?

Yes, “I Came By” is a British production, highlighting Netflix’s efforts to expand its British content offerings.

4. What makes “I Came By” unique among home invasion thrillers?

“I Came By” stands out among home invasion thrillers with its exploration of themes like class divisions, elitism, and the pursuit of justice. The performances, particularly by Hugh Bonneville and George MacKay, contribute to the film’s distinctiveness.

5. Does “I Came By” maintain a sense of tension throughout the film?

While “I Came By” effectively builds tension during its early stages, some viewers may find that it loses momentum in later parts due to the accumulation of plot twists. However, the film still manages to deliver moments of suspense and chilling thrills.