Starring: Maika Monroe, Karl Glusman, Burn Gorman, and Madalina Anea
Director: Chloe Okuno
In her feature debut, director Chloe Okuno does a spectacular job of creating an eerie gaslighting whodunit in Watcher. One thing to love is that the film feels as real and ambiguous as possible, putting us in the main character’s shoes as we see what she sees and suspect what she suspects. Furthermore, Maika Monroe delivers a gripping performance as the film’s lead, and Okuno turns up the heat in the last few minutes for a radical ending. It’s a stellar reminder to watch out... because you never know who’s watching you!
Watcher may not be doing a lot that’s new for the stalker horror subgenre, but it is one of the more affecting offerings to be released in quite some time. The Shudder-backed indie features a stellar leading performance from Maika Monroe and an equally captivating (though brief) supporting turn by Madalina Anea. Some of the cat-and-mouse moments from director Chloe Okuno are so thoroughly tense that I was actively gripping my seat. The film’s imperfections – namely, a one-note boyfriend and the occasional logic lapse – pervade its successes enough to bring it down, but not enough to stain it significantly.