A True Original Thriller
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 31m
Director(s): Chloe Okuno
Writer(s): Zack Ford (based on the screenplay by) Chloe Okuno (written for the screen by)
Cast: Maika Monroe, Karl Glusman, Burn Gorman
Where To Watch: In theaters 6/3 (at AMC Sunnyland Classic 10, with four showings daily)
Sometimes a film can be so simple yet just as powerful. That was ultimately the case here, and I was blown away! This was director Chloe Okuno’s feature premiere, and what a way to start! I still have chills from watching it. With two other films in pre-production, I can’t wait to see what they are with two other films in pre-production! Unfortunately, I haven’t seen V/H/S/94 yet, but they also directed a segment for that!
While watching the film, I couldn’t help but feel like I knew the lead, Maika Monroe, who plays Julia in the movie, from somewhere else. It stuck with me the entire time until I finally broke down and checked out IMDb. She gave a performance that I won’t soon forget; so much can be said with just a look, and she manages to capture every emotion possible with a simple stare! She also plays Jay Height from one of my favorite films, IT FOLLOWS. As well as having roles in INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE and THE 5TH WAVE.
Along with Monroe, Burn Gorman plays such a memorable role in this film, and seriously one you will not soon forget! You may well know him from THE DARK KNIGHT RISES or a ton of other parts that you'll instantly remember once you see his face (he’ll also be doing voice acting in Guillermo del Toro's PINOCCHIO, which comes out later this year. Karl Glusman, who I’m not as familiar with, plays Monroe’s love interest Francis but plays his role to perfection. I was shocked at the emotions I felt towards his character!
Please don’t read the synopsis for the film; I feel that it gives away a vital aspect that is so much better left to finding out while watching it. Sometimes the unknown is so much better! The film was shot beautifully, there were so many dark scenes, but you saw exactly what you needed to see. There wasn’t a lot of filler and fluff taking away from the scenes going on in front of you. Not to mention I think this has one of the most striking posters that I’ve ever seen for a film.
The film is most definitely a slow burn, but it helps to build up the tension even more. I’m traditionally hit or miss with slow-burn cinema, but this one had the perfect mix. This was probably the most powerful statement piece I’ve ever read about a film. The director states, “In making “Watcher,” I wanted to capture a kind of constant, uncomfortable dread that accompanies many women throughout their lives.” I honestly cannot even imagine, and I would never try; it’s something that the privilege I’ve grown up with has allowed me never to face. She continues, “It’s a situation that’s probably quite familiar to most women. We experience the world in a different way than men, and then when we try to express that experience, we’re often doubted- written off as paranoid, irrational, or overly sensitive… which in turn can make us begin to doubt ourselves.” Please don’t ever doubt that fear; as lucky as some are never to have to face it, those that do can cause irreparable emotional damage.
I’m so excited that my smalltown theater is getting a film like this (make sure to watch it this weekend, as there’s no guarantee how long it will be around); I can’t wait to see it on the big screen! I don’t often watch a movie twice, but with a performance like this, I didn’t doubt it for a second! Please see this in theaters if you get the chance; I’ll be going this weekend.
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