Serial killers…they have wreaked havoc for decades. Even before the movies decided to put the fear of God in its viewers, serial killers, stalkers, and right out rapists were a thing. Nowadays, this generation has an addiction with true crime and gory yet very true horror stories. Needless to say, when movie goers hear of a new serial killer Thriller coming to theaters or DVD, they flock to them. Released in theaters on June 3, 2022 through IFC Midnight, Watcher is another serial killer Thriller that hits a disturbing nerve.
Directed and co-written by Chloe Okuno (Slut 2014, V/H/S94 2021), along with Zack Ford (Scar 2007, Girls’ Night Out 2009), Watcher follows an American woman named Julia (Maika Monroe: It Follows 2014, The 5th Wave 2016) and her husband Francis (Karl Glusman: The Neon Demon 2016, Love 2015) who moves to Bucharest, Romania to start afresh. After watching the news of a serial killer on the loose, Julia becomes suspicious of a neighbor who seems to watch and stalk her consistently.
First thing anyone wants with a Thriller is good writing and that is usually where some seem to fail. However the story is quite thrilling with Watcher, thus it will certainly get your heart pounding. Okuno and Ford threads together a disturbing and overall haunting and terrifying serial killer. Throw in a young depressed and seemingly anxiety filled woman and you got yourself a heart racing movie.
As for directing Thrillers, it is the execution in which the director tends to destroy the film. Yet, as for Watcher, Okuno does a phenomenal job intimidating her viewers. With its dark tone and overall somber vibe, you are subdued into a twisted and spiraling conscious of paranoia. Furthermore, Monroe portrays Julia extremely well, giving the main character her depressing, somber, and paranoid attributes without going overdramatic.
Supporting her, Karl Glusman is strong as Julia’s French speaking husband who has a bad habit of using his language ability to mock and joke about his paranoid wife. And finally, in arguably the best portrayal of a serial killer since Anthony Hopkins Hannibal, is Burn Gorman (Pacific Rim 2013, TURN: Washington’s Spies series) as the watcher. Admitting that there are some truly twisted and damaged people in this world, Gorman was able to establish this particular character. Quiet, inverted, withdrawn, and overall creepy, he makes for a terrifying serial killer that no one suspects, at least until the end.
All in all, the story and directing make Watcher, but the cast are what truly bring out the suspense and darkness. Leaving you feeling paranoid and terrified, Cryptic Rock gives Watcher 5 out of 5 stars.