Combustible Celluloid
With: Maika Monroe, Karl Glusman, Burn Gorman, Madalina Anea, Flaviu Crisan, Daniel Nuta, Cristina Deleanu, Tudor Petrut
Written by: Chloe Okuno, based on a screenplay by Zack Ford
Directed by: Chloe Okuno
MPAA Rating: R for some bloody violence, language, and some sexual material/nudity
Running Time: 91
Date: 06/03/2022

Watcher (2022)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Window Chopping

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Julia (Maika Monroe, It Follows) moves with her partner Francis (Karl Glusman) to Romania. Francis is half-Romanian, speaks the language, and has a job that keeps him out all hours of the day and night. Julia can't speak the language and has nothing to do while Francis is gone. A serial killer is on the loose, and through their apartment's huge picture windows, she sees a spooky silhouette seemingly staring at her. That's the simple setup of Chloe Okuno's Watcher, but Okuno and Monroe take it and run with it, using the material to explore a woman's struggle to be taken seriously, to exist. Right away, Julia is defined by her looks, and Francis never seems to really listen to her. Trapped in a world where other speak (unsubtitled) Romanian, she also can't participate. Even the strange neighbor (the creepy Burn Gorman) makes her feel stupid and awful for her reactions to him. Though the "thriller" aspects of it are perhaps a bit too routine (and, in some cases, downright silly), the potent, unsettling way in which it gets under Julia's skin makes Watcher is a success.

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