4/10 Despite the high rating on Rotten Opinions, don’t let “Watcher” fool you. While the trailer intrigued me and the two leads are talented individuals who have both been in their fair share of solid work (“It Follows” for Maika Monroe and “Devs” for Karl Glusman), this movie ultimately disappoints due to its horror clichés and a ridiculous ending. The premise follows a young, American woman Julia (Monroe) and her husband Francis (Glusman) moving to Bucharest for his job when Julia sees someone watching her from the building across the street. While a string of murders are happening, Julia begins to wonder if the man in the window is responsible or if he even exists at all. The setup is solid and Julia being a fish out of water in a country where she knows little of the language and her husband is gone at work all day helps establish Julia’s loneliness, fear and anxiety. Coming in at around an hour and a half, the pacing works well as the movie slowly builds. The problem that writer/director Chloe Okuno has is that she repeats so many horror tropes that have been overdone for decades. Everything from something horrific happening but the character wakes up and it was all a dream to a character hearing something but exploring to discover that it was only their imagination take place. Characters making stupid decisions like believing they are being stalked by someone who is possibly a serial killer but still going off exploring on their own with no form of protection highlights a lot of the dumb decisions. Glusman’s Francis character is underdeveloped and only acts as more of a burden on his wife than a support system. In a ridiculous moment that reminded me of 2019’s “Pet Sematary”, Okuno uses a subway as a jump scare (a semi truck was used in the same way in “Pet Sematary”). What is moronic about this is that large, moving forms of transportation get louder and louder the closer they get to you, meaning that they can’t sneak up on you and startle you by jumping out of nowhere. Yet Okuno has a subway be completely muted until she uses a lazy jump scare to startle both our main protagonist and the audience and it comes off as both impossible and lazy. Finally, the worst element comes at the movie’s ending. While I won’t spoil what happens, I will say that the human body can only lose a certain amount of blood before you go unconscious and eventually bleed out and die. This essentially happens near the end of the movie until that character magically comes back to life at full strength and for how much blood that was lost and where they were bleeding from, it was just stupid. If the character would have died (realistically they would have), the movie could have had a ballsy ending but Okuno plays it safe with the cliché, unrealistic ending. Despite some solid performances, a simple yet effective story and a running time that doesn’t overstay its welcome, Okuno’s screenplay and direction have a ton of room for improvement as she falls back on dated horror clichés, a weak ending and a movie that ends up being completely forgettable, instead of standing out like Monroe’s “It Follows”. While the watcher watches Julia in this movie, you don’t need to be a watcher of this overrated disappointment.

#ShitFollows / #GiveItABucharest / #EndOfWatcher / #BucharrestedDevelopment / #DontBelieveMeJustWatch / #NotOnMyWatcher

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