WATCHER (2022) Reviews of suspense thriller – plus release news and trailer

  

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Watcher is a 2022 American suspense thriller film in which a young woman moves into a new apartment with her fiancé. However, she becomes tormented by the feeling that she is being stalked by an unseen watcher in an adjacent building.

Directed by Chloe Okuno (V/H/S/94 ‘Storm Drain’ segment) – making her feature directorial debut – from a screenplay co-written with Zack Ford. Produced by Derek Dauchy, John Finemore, Zack Ford, Aaron Kaplan, Roy Lee, Mason Novick, Sean Perrone and Steven Schneider.

The movie stars Maika Monroe (Flashback; Villains; Greta; Tau; It Follows; Flying Monkeys), Karl Glusman, Burn Gorman, Tudor Petrut, Gabriela Butuc, Madalina Anea and Cristina Deleanu.

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Reviews:
” …Maika Monroe gives a stellar performance as Julia that avoids the overwrought histrionics a lot of actors would have leaned on, and director/co-writer Chloe Okuno (V/H/S/94) devises original ways of staging the proceedings. The nerve-rattling movie builds to a gruesome climax. It’s a first-rate thriller.” The Aisle Seat

“Monroe delivers a believable performance that elevates Okuno’s tension. However, Watcher falls victim to horror tropes, including the husband that doesn’t believe his own wife […] It establishes commentary on the ways women aren’t taken seriously, but it’s an overused horror trope that gets too much screen time. Watcher establishes two acts of highly-effective slow burn that lead to an anti-climactic finale that takes no risks.” Cheat Sheet

“I think Monroe is under-directed a bit to be a bit too low-key, but it allows the film to feel more realistic than the exaggerated form of something like Giallo, which this easily could have been with just a few tonal shifts. The end feels a little rushed, but it’s effective, leaving Watcher as a tight, moody thriller that’s definitely (sorry) worth watching.” RogerEbert.com

” …Watcher embraces its long-delayed thriller promise in the final moments. There, at least, Okuno delivers a modicum of thrills, chills, and even a dollop of blood-stained gore. For some viewers with slightly higher horror-related expectations, though, that may be too little too late.” Screen Anarchy

“The pacing is a bit slow. The middle-act does run a tad long as well. However, Monroe and a creepy performance from Burn Gorman carry the string of events nicely. Spots of suspense are timely and when it begins to drag, the delightfully horrific finale kicks in to send the film off with a bang. The direction is moody and atmospheric.” 75% The Silver Screen Analysis

“Monroe’s performance is staggering, but it’s also in service of a poorly fleshed out character; one whose autonomy in a situation is ignored until the film’s climax. Okuno proves herself as capable of working wonders with even the most run-of-the-mill screenplay, but unfortunately, it’s a film where most will move on with their lives or put it on as background noise once they discover its originality.” Tilt

“Given the recycled archetypes and often predictable plotting, it takes quite some skill, and Nathan Halpern’s fine, suspenseful score, to preserve a sense of eeriness. Benjamin Kirk Nielsen’s unshowy photography is a stealth virtue here too, remaining in such a naturalistic register that the few jump scares land and the genre-mandated minimum of bloodletting is queasily effective.” Variety

Release:

Watcher has its world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Festival on 21st January.

In the USA, IFC Midnight will release Watcher on June 3, 2022.

Main cast and characters:

Maika Monroe … Julia
Karl Glusman … Francis
Burn Gorman … Watcher / Weber
Tudor Petrut … Taxi Driver
Gabriela Butuc … Flavia
Madalina Anea … Irina
Cristina Deleanu … Eleonora
Bogdan Farcas … Neighbor
Daniel Nuta … Cristian
Ioana Abur … Simion’s Wife
Flaviu Crisan … Simion
Stefan Iancu … Store Worker
Florian Ghimpu … Officer Radu
Lucian Ionescu … Maintenance Worker
Radu Bunescu … Ticket Taker
Alexandru Ion … Nicolae
Ciprian Chiriches … Waiter
Ionut Grama … Club Employee
Simona Patruleasa … Female News Anchor
Ioana Hirica … Flower Vendor
Alice Cora Mihalache … Cashier
Aida Economu … Lucia

Filming locations:
Bucharest, Romania

Technical details:
1 hour 31 minutes

Film facts:
Julia watches Stanley Donen’s romantic thriller Charade (1963) at the cinema.

Teaser trailer:

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