‘Watcher’ Sundance Review

-Allison McCulloch

Maika Monroe plays Julia, a woman who has traveled to Bucharest, Romania with her husband, Francis (Karl Glusman). The opening shots evoke Lost in Translation and Rear Window simultaneously. Julia doesn’t speak the language, but instead of a warm, welcoming Bill-Murray-type, she believes her neighbor is watching her. It doesn’t help that there’s a man on the loose, intent on decapitating women.

It’s true that it’s a slow burn film. Julia is disbelieved by the police, laughed at by her husband, and considered troublesome by her building’s management. Always looking over her shoulder and talking to everyone she can to grasp the situation, Julia admits that she feels like she’s losing her mind.

Maika Monroe is definitely one of the most exciting actresses working today and doesn’t shy away from demanding horror roles. She could achieve cult status for the film the same way Isabelle Adjani did for Possession — and already has in my book.

In the Q&A, director Chloe Okuno referenced films including Rosemary’s Baby, Se7en, and The Three Colors Trilogy as jumping off points for inspiration. Actor Karl Glusman admitted to minimizing a partner’s experience in his own relationships instead of listening; therefore, this film can create important discussions and open some men’s eyes to the gaslighting that often happens to women.

Rating: 7/10

Check out Allison McCulloch on Twitter.

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