For Oct. 2, I stuck with a Shudder exclusive film called Watcher. The film is about a married couple that move into an apartment in Bucharest. One of the things the wife, Julia (played by Maika Monroe), notices is that there’s a strange man watching her at night from his apartment window across the street. Soon enough, Julia begins to suspect this creepy watcher of being the serial killer who is decapitating women.
I should warn you all, I did write this review as I was watching it, so there are slight spoilers, but I didn’t spoil the ending or the main plot points.
This is just my opinion, but if there was a creepy dude watching me from a window across the street, I would invest in some curtains. But hey, that’s just me.
Julia doesn’t speak the local language and there aren’t any subtitles. A lot of key information is told through that language so if the audience doesn’t speak Romanian, then the audience is in the dark just like Julia. And just like Julia, the audience relies on people translating into English. However, this adds to the paranoia, because you’re always wondering if they actually told you the correct information. There’s one scene where the husband (played by Karl Glusman), his work friend and his wife, and Julia are discussing the initial murder and the friend states that the victim was decapitated. Julia turns to her husband and says, “You didn’t tell me she was decapitated” (or something along those lines). The husband claims that the news report didn’t say it was decapitation, but how is Julia and the audience supposed to know if the husband is telling the truth?
After the first murder, Julia starts to research the serial killer and finds that there was one victim that was left alive. She listens to the account of the victim and begins to grow paranoid that she too is being stalked by this Watcher. This paranoia leads to a couple of great tension building moments.
Soon enough, Julia begins to look at the apartment across the street for the Watcher (played by Burn Gorman).
The one thing that I don’t really like about films like these where the female is isolated and feeling paranoid is that there’s always that cliché about the husband not believing his wife. Eventually he starts to believe that the wife is going nuts. It happens in every film with this type of subject matter. Watcher follows suit as well with the husband coming to that conclusion. For once, I would like to see a film where the husband believes his wife and they come up with a plan to thwart the stalker.
The degradation of Julia’s psyche is portrayed by her dress. She starts the movie off in stylish clothing and by the halfway mark, she’s in sweatpants and untucked shirts. She begins to watch the Watcher as the plot goes on.
The acting is one of the better things about this film. Gorman and Monroe play off each other and when they’re both on screen at the same time, it’s just a tense and amazing acting job.
The ending is predictable because they call out the film’s Chekov’s Gun early on, so you know that’s how things are going to end, but there’s so much suspense and misdirection you start to wonder if that’s also a red herring.
As the film progresses, the audience is asked again and again, “Who is the watcher in this movie?” Because as Julia starts to become obsessed with the dude across the street, you start to question Julia’s sanity.
Overall, I really enjoyed Watcher and would recommend this film.
Have you seen this film? If so, what did you think of it? Are the any horror films you think I should watch this month? Let me know in the comments!
31 Days of Horror Rankings
1. Watcher (2022)
2. Revealer (2022)