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WATCHER (2022, USA) – 6/10

And while the whole army of people from the East of Europe is fleeing somewhere to the beautiful, new world of Germany, Ireland, Scandinavia, where those trains, buses and planes are already running in one direction, the main character of this thin thriller, rather than horror, is the young American Julia (Maika Monroe who broke through with a role in a much better horror film, “It Follows”), decided to settle in Bucharest. Well, she didn’t exactly make that decision. she has already decided to follow her husband Francis (Karl Glusman) to the Romanian capital, whose mother is of Romanian origin and therefore he speaks the language well, and he got a job in the local marketing agency. And while Francis works all day long and lays a lot, unhappy Julia is left to her own devices all day long in a town where she doesn’t know anyone and where people speak a language she doesn’t know.

But it will be only the beginning of the problems for this young lady, because practically immediately after her arrival, she will become convinced that someone is constantly watching her through the window of the neighboring building. And that Peeping Tom from across the building is not the only problem, because at the same time Bucharest is being ravaged by a serial killer whose targets are women, and Julia will become more and more paranoid and it will seem to her that someone is following her all the time. She is convinced that it is the same guy from the building across the street, but as is often the case in psychological thrillers like this, the big question is whether what the protagonist claims is really happening, or whether she has lost her way and something is happening to her that is not happening in reality. .

Chloe Okuno, a feature film debutant, presented herself with the film “Watcher” in the main program of the festival in Sundance, and I have the impression that her role models were Hitchcock’s “Rear Window”, Roman Polanski’s “Repulsion”, as well as Brian De Palma’s camp-thriller “Dressed to Kill “. By far the strongest part of the film are the moments when Julia becomes more and more paranoid and when we are not at all clear what is really going on. In the moments when this beautiful young woman, who is perhaps intentionally left at the level of a house wife whose only task is to be an ornament to a successful husband, literally breaks down psychologically and is scared to death, “Watcher” even works solidly. However, as is often the case, the denouement here is quite banal and somehow did not fit well with the previously solid construction.