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  • Writer's pictureJack Kritzer

Review: Watcher

As a serial killer stalks the city, a young actress who just moved to town with her boyfriend notices a mysterious stranger watching her from across the street.

Maika Monroe, Karl Glusman, Burn Gorman, Madalina Anea, Daniel Nuta

'Watcher' is Chloe Okuno's thrilling directorial and screenwriting debut, with an enthralling performance from Maika Monroe at the forefront. This tension filled psychological thriller had my undivided attention from the first frame, to the final soul-stirring shot.

Maika Monroe is one of today's most underrated actresses. With a filmography that includes films like 'It Follows' and 'Independence Day', she has a very strong background in the thriller/horror genre that has made her into one of the best actresses to take on the genre. Monroe plays Julia, the wife of Karl Glusman's character, who is a former actress who moved to Romania due to a new job opportunity her husband received. While she's adjusting to this new life, in a country that is completely foreign to her, it doesn't take her long to recognize that she may be being stalked by someone who lives across the street from her. Monroe is fantastic in the role, it's not hard to sympathize with her character with the strong emotional performance she delivers. The fact that nobody she speaks to believes what she is telling them, leaves the viewer to be the only person who can truly connect with her and be sympathetic toward what she’s going through. When it all comes down to it, it's her performance and the phenomenal writing that went hand in hand in order to make this such an amazing film.

I wanted to put a spotlight on Benjamin Kirk Nielsen's remarkable cinematography. He made an already outstanding film so much better by making every frame absolutely alluring. His talent allowed for every shot to evoke a feeling of loneliness, and an eerie sense of trepidation as Julia starts to make unsettling realizations about her potential stalker.

For a debut director and screenwriter, Chloe Okuno absolutely killed it. Her vision for this film was realized to its fullest potential. She created a truly unique and gripping thriller with a very interesting theme at its center; that maybe we are all "watchers".

While this film is nearly perfect in every sense, one flaw I'd point out is regarding Karl Glusman's character, Francis. While at first it seems he has a perfect marriage with Julia as they begin to adapt to this new life in Romania, I feel like the deterioration of this loving and trusting connection between the two of them fell apart too quickly, and could've been developed more in order to display how Francis' misgivings regarding Julia's frantic behavior came to be.

That aside, 'Watcher' is one of the year's best thrillers, with unique themes to keep audiences thinking long after the credits roll. Maika Monroe's terrific performance united with Okuno's extraordinary direction and screenwriting will leave viewers with no choice but to be impressed.

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