Watcher is a psychological horror from director Chloe Okuno starring Maika Monroe, Karl Glusman, and Burn Gorman.
Watcher follows Maika Monroe’s character Julie as she moves to Bucharest after her husband gets a promotion that requires them to move there. Julie is excited about this next stage in their lives and looks forward to living in a new place. It is tough though as she barely knows the language, and has to rely on her husband a lot and when he is not around the challenges become even tougher. If this isn’t enough Julie notices one night that she is being watched by a rather unnerving neighbour across the street.
As she tries to acclimate to her new home she feels more and more isolated as she has barely anyone to talk to. Further compounding this isolation and tension is this same neighbour may be following her.
It is better to live with uncertainty than die with I told you so on your lips
Watcher is an unnerving experience. From how it is lit with muted colours to keep the mood down to the score that is simply ethereal. The film is also shot beautifully. It is shot in a fashion to showcase how alone Julie is. There is a particular scene where she is on a staircase and it just looked breathtaking. It was immaculate but it was also empty with this lone figure in the centre.
Monroe is brilliant as Julie. She isn’t a damsel in distress she is trying so hard to prove that something is wrong. The main reason that makes this film so frightening is that it feels all too real. At first, people help her, they take her worries earnestly and take action. Unfortunately, as the film progresses and the paranoia grows even I began to wonder if her fears were warranted. It’s well-written and I loved the majority of the film. Watcher is an intimate film with an intimate but character-filled cast. Everyone is interesting, the world is well lived in and it’s a subtle but gorgeous production.
If I had any issues it is with the ending of the film. I won’t discuss it as this film like most horror films is best seen blind. It’s not a bad ending but it could have been even more impressive if it had stuck to the realism of the rest of the film.
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