WATCHER is a new horror movie produced by IFC Midnight and Shudder. It will first be released in theaters via IFC Midnight and then premiere on streaming via Shudder later. This is a slow-burn psychological horror movie that really hits hard in many ways. Probably more so for women, since the main protagonist is a woman.
If you’re not into slow-burn stories with psychological horror as the main plot driver, then this probably won’t be for you. Why should it be?! On the other hand, if you do like these elements in your horror movie, then you are in for quite a treat. In a soul-crushing and terrifying way. Obviously!
Maike Monroe is the absolute star in this psychological horror movie from IFC Midnight and Shudder. Both in terms of plot and screen time. Her character, Julia, is the one we follow from beginning to end.
I don’t think it could be called a spoiler, of any kind, to say that the time in between is full of dread and terror.
Julia (Maika Monroe) is a woman who feels watched. Also, she recently moved to Romania where her husband got a new job. Wanting to get a fresh start, they’ve made the relocation, but Julia doesn’t quite feel at home. Also, there’s an active serial killer (known as The Spider) who watches women for a while before killing them.
He stalks his victims and Julia feels like she might be the next victim. Of course, no one really believes her. In fact, even she isn’t sure of anything herself. After all, she does have a lot of time on her hands. And there is a guy who is always watching her from his apartment across the street.
But is any of it real? Watcher is excellent at keeping you guessing. And yes, you will be getting answers before the credits roll across the screen.
Actually, calling Maika Monroe a “final girl” might not be completely accurate. She is a horror darling in her own right, but her characters don’t always make it out alive. Even if she stars in the movie. In that sense, she isn’t a final girl. She’s still excellent in horror movies though, so it’s great to see her back in one with Watcher.
Most horror fans will probably know Maika Monroe from It Follows (2014) which became a huge success. Since then, she’s also been in the drama horror-comedy Villains (2019) co-starring Bill Skarsgård, and the Quibi series The Stranger (2020) co-starring Dane DeHaan.
Also starring – but in much smaller roles – are Karl Glusman (Devs) and Burn Gorman. They are, obviously, important to the story, but this really is her movie. And story, for that matter!Watch the new Watcher horror movie in theaters
Chloe Okuno is the writer and director of Watcher. It is, however, based on a screenplay by Zack Ford who is also a producer of the movie. This is the feature film debut of Chloe Okuno who previously worked on short films. Including part of V/H/S/94 which was released in 2021. She made the “Storm Drain” segment of the horror anthology which is on Shudder.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. In fact, even halfway through the 91-minute runtime, I still didn’t quite know how it would evolve. It’s a slow-burn psychological thriller that just does not let up. Personally, I enjoy it when a movie keeps me guessing. Especially when it manages to do so in an intelligent way. As opposed to just telling or showing me something to trick me.
Again, I suspect many women will relate to the story more. Especially the part about being told that some creepy guy showing interest “just has a crush”. Setting the stage in Romania also makes for the main character being out of her comfort zone. All while showing Romania as a beautiful and modern place, mind you.
Watcher is a creepy and intelligent movie with a small but hyper-efficient plot. Do check it out when you get the chance!
Watcher is out in theaters on June 3 and will be available On-Demand from June 21, 2022. It will also be out on Shudder later.