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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Watcher (2022)

"Trebuie să punem pe cineva să se uite la acea arătare și să luăm niște perdele."

Roll credits.

Seriously though, this is much better than your average under-hyped horror/thriller flick. Maika is back at it, the woman that is already racking up more anxiety and paranoia points than Jamie Lee Curtis.

The obvious Hitchcockian connotations are here in spades and are difficult to avoid really, but the film is no less for echoing such greatness, even if it does fall short of the aforementioned classics. Invention from boredom, whether warranted or not is a great flag-bearer for humanity in film and whether you're holed up in your apartment with a broken leg, some binoculars and time to spare, or wandering a foreign city with nothing to do but order coffee and visit near empty cinemas, the imagination will do whatever it can to keep things interesting.

As such, Chloe Okuno's slice of listlessness in a strange land is as much catnip to your woke #metoo realists, regardless of where you do your gherkin shopping. The tone is set even before the curtains finally get hung and the issue of a killer on the loose and the unwanted attention from the man across the street is enough to put you either on the edge of your seat or force you to roll your eyes in your head at the lavish selfishness of it all.

The film maintains an admirable sense of continued dread, even before reality is truly established, which is no mean feat, with oppressive lighting, deliberate shadowing, unforgiving shot choices and a score that can only make you feel uncomfortable. Burn Gorman's performance reminded me rather too quickly of Peter Ferdinando's Tony, wandering the rain-sodden streets with a plastic bag that may or may not have someone's decapitated head in it.

This is better than average by some degree, if a little too laboured in its pacing, retaining engagement through the majority, though not all, of its runtime.


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