Dir. Chloe Okuno (2022)
A young woman who has moved to Romania with her boyfriend finds herself stuck in the middle of the hunt for a serial killer and hoping to avoid becoming his next victim.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Watcher is getting a ton of buzz on social media, largely because (I believe) of its star Maika Monroe (It Follows) and its director Chloe Okuno (V/H/S 94). I get it, I really do: Monroe is excellent in the film and Okuno is a fantastic director, and the film is beautifully shot if a bit drab. Unfortunately, that’s really the film’s only saving grace, as it’s a disastrously slow film and idea that feels stretched far too thin. It’s only an hour and a half but easily feels like at least two, and there’s nothing within to really hold onto after the film is done.
The film plays a lot on paranoia and the feeling of “otherness,” dealing with Julia’s (Monroe) loneliness as an American foreigner left to her own devices when her douchebag boyfriend is constantly working. She sees someone constantly staring at her through her window, and she gets caught up in the “web of intrigue” of someone potentially following her while a serial killer stalks the city. While the ending of the film is excellent, and almost makes up for the rest of the dreadfully slow film, it’s just not quite enough to overcome the overlapping scenes of monotony and the slow burn that never really sizzles. I have a feeling that a lot of people are going to hate me for this one, and I get it: this one has all the makings of a much-beloved fan favorite. This fan just didn’t love it. Very excited for Okuno’s next film about Rodney Alcala and The Dating Game, though, so count me in for that one.