I had been looking forward to Watcher since I first heard about it last year. It was half because I was such a huge fan of Chloe Okuno’s segment in V/H/S 94 and the other half was because I’m a huge fan of Maika Monroe. This was another movie where I didn’t watch the trailer so that I could go in knowing as little as possible. I feel like that was the way to go because there were moments where I was made so anxious that I had to do anything to alleviate it.

Chloe Okuno wrote and directed Watcher based on a screenplay by Zack Ford. The story of a woman in a foreign country that doesn’t speak the language is lonely enough but adding the stalking and everything else is what makes the movie so anxiety inducing. The way its written as well as directed made me think of a thriller that Hitchcock would have made. That’s even on top of the performances.

Maika Monroe, Karl Glusman, Burn Gorman, and Mãdãlina Anea are fantastic in Watcher. A lot of the heavy lifting goes to Monroe and how she interacts with everyone else. The chemistry she has with Glusman is sweet and heartwarming at first and as the relationship changes you feel it in the subtle ways they change around each other. That’s in direct opposition to how it is with Anea’s character. The only onscreen relationship that doesn’t change is that between Monroe and Gorman. Monroe has a consistent energy that goes from simple unease to flat out terror whenever she shares the screen with Gorman.

The effects in Watcher are amazing. The practical effects are impressive and the same goes for the CG effects. The CG effects are subtle. Both kinds of effects are helped along by the cinematography. The set and costume designer for the movie add so much to the atmosphere of Watcher. The music by Nathan Halpern is amazing. The main theme is like a lullaby, which is both creepy and comforting all at once.

Watcher is a hell of a thriller that keeps you on your toes all the way until the end. This is yet another Shudder Original that I absolutely love. This is a throwback to an era of thriller that isn’t really released often anymore. I give Watcher 9 packs of cigarettes out of 10.

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