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Maika Monroe Shines in ‘Watcher’ (Review)

Maika Monroe first caught my attention with a double shot of incredible performances in 2014’s ‘The Guest’ and ‘It Follows.’ She’s had a little less success with finding the right roles since then, but a recent binge of scary movies for October leads me to recommend this thriller that she stars in that was written and directed by Chloe Okuno.

Maika Monroe stars in ‘Watcher’ (IFC Midnight)

In ‘Watcher,’ Monroe plays Julia, a woman who has relocated to Bucharest with her husband Francis (Karl Glusman) for his new job.

Mostly left to her own devices, Julia is excited for her new surroundings, but stuck in a manner of being unable to communicate and feeling isolated.

A slate of murders in the area start to permeate daily life and before long Julia becomes convinced that a man who lives in the building across the street is watching her every move. Are her fears mistaken or justified?

Burn Gorman (‘Game of Thrones’) is terrifyingly creepy as the man living across the way who may or may not be the boogeyman of Julia’s living nightmare.

The Verdict

With a lack of films in the marketplace earlier this year, IFC took a risk with ‘Watcher’ that paid off in a big way. They released the movie on nearly 800 screens where it broke a box office opening record for them.

I really fell in love with Nathan Halpern’s evocative score and the simple, but wildly effective set direction. The apartment that Francis and Julia move into has these outrageously high ceilings and a wall of windows that leave her exposed to the outside world.

It’s easy to see why audiences responded to this Sundance hit. The performances are terrific and the story puts a new twist on a voyeuristic tale. Okuno’s feature debut pulls a reverse ‘Rear Window’ and delivers a tense thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

B+

How to Watch

‘Watcher’ is streaming now on Shudder and AMC+. It is also available to rent or buy from all digital providers. A recently released blu-ray from IFC Midnight also contains an audio commentary from director Chloe Okuno and editor Michael Block.

Need more recommendations? Check out our October 2022 streaming preview!

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