Films dealing with stalkers or people who think they’re being stalked have been around for some time. Most of the time, they are labeled horror movies because they usually are. Sometimes they are just films that deal with the human condition — an aspect of humanity that sees the worst in people. Watcher deals with a situation of people who look more into things than there are… or does it?
Maika Monroe plays a woman who has moved to Bucharest, Romania, with her husband (Karl Glusman). While he works, she is left in their 5th-story apartment by herself. With all of this alone time smoking and drinking, she imagines she is being stalked by a man in the building across from her. She tells her husband and the local authorities with no luck. They both think she’s paranoid and is imagining the whole thing because she’s bored and has nothing else to do.
Watcher has aspects it borrows from some classic films. Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Disturbia, starring Shia Labeouf, come to mind. These types of films try to get the audience to go along with the leading character. In this case, the paranoia of Monroe’s bored housewife gets the better of her. Does she really believe she’s being stalked? That is the main plot, but should we, as viewers, believe this plot device?
Maika Monroe is a good actress, and she had to do a lot of the heavy lifting in this film. The audience had to get behind her. That being said, the script didn’t do her any favors. It showed her as she was just walking around or worrying about her neighbor across the way. There wasn’t enough for her to do. She needed to be more active than she was. More supporting characters might have padded out the story and main plot more. Her arc seemed to drag along, and that made the film come across as boring.
Watcher tried to do enough to get the story across, but it wasn’t enough. The filmmakers didn’t fill the plot out better. The cast didn’t have as much to do as they should have. The slow nature of the story tended to drag the pace down as well. The slower the film got, the more boring it got. The boring nature of the film and plot reflected the main character. Monroe tried to do her best to make this character appealing, but she was just bland — not that the film is any better.
Dan Skip Allen
Sean Boelman Founder/EIC disappointment media