Is ‘I Came By’ a true story? The film’s real-life inspirations

I Came By

Netflix’s thriller I Came By tells the tale of two rebel graffiti artists who specialize in breaking into the house of the rich and plastering the walls with art. The duo splits after one party, Jay, learns of the impending birth of his son. Disappointed but undeterred, Toby presses on but, unfortunately, breaks into the wrong house. 

Death after gory death follows as a retired judge, Hector Blake, strives to hide a sinister secret. With the police unable to secure justice for Blake’s victims, Jay steps up, stopping Blake’s killing spree and helping authorities gather evidence against the psychopathic murderer. 

I Came By is a fictional film based on real-world issues

The film’s director, Babak Anvari, talked to Digital Spy about its inspiration. He told the outlet that I Came By was a fictional film based on real-world issues:

“Obviously it’s a work of fiction. I’m taking inspiration from real events and heavily fictionalising it, but as it was brewing, I was watching the world events and everything that is happening, it definitely affected the story and the central theme of it.”

Babak said the idea for the film came to him nearly twenty years before its debut. As time passed, the issues he wanted to bring out in the movie – for instance, immigration, corruption, and classism – became more relevant. 

The filmmakers consulted experts in various fields to accurately bring out the film’s themes. For instance, Babak talked to experts in the police force to determine how the police are likely to conduct themselves when tasked with investigating a judge. 

In I Came By, the police would have caught Henry Blake earlier had they investigated him thoroughly. Babak told BFI:

“f the police get called to a judge’s house, as soon as they find out that it’s a judge, especially a High Court judge, they will immediately be like, ‘OK, there’s only so much we can do.’ I found that fascinating.”

“In many ways actually I think our story gives them a bit more freedom to do things compared to the actual police force, because in reality, things are far more limited and complicated when it comes to these types of investigations.”

Babak drew inspiration from 90s horror films to add dread to the film. “With this one I’m drawing from classic thrillers as inspiration but I was also inspired by 90s slasher films,” Babak said.