David Allen Griffin is a cool killer- time and time again, he chooses a female victim, studies her for weeks till he knows her routine to the smallest detail, makes meticulous preparations ...
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An aimless young man who is scalping tickets, gambling and drinking, agrees to coach a Little League team from the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago as a condition of getting a loan from a friend.
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The story centers around a man and a woman, whose fates are intertwined and will change forever. Nelson is an avid advertiser living in San Francisco. One day, during a driving test, he ... See full summary »
David Allen Griffin is a cool killer- time and time again, he chooses a female victim, studies her for weeks till he knows her routine to the smallest detail, makes meticulous preparations using his forensic knowledge to gain entry when she's quite alone, subdues her and administers a long, torturous death. Joel Campbell got so frustrated by his failure to capture Griffin in LA that he quit the FBI, moved to Chicago and remains in psychiatric therapy, unable to function normally. Then he realizes, when opening his mail very late, that a new murder victim is Griffin's, and the killer send him pictures of her. Campbell reports this to the police, but is unwilling to join them in the search, suggesting Griffin is too slick and clever; yet he won't get out of it that easily... Written by
Both James Spader and Keanu Reeves previously starred with actress Lori Loughlin in The New Kids (1985) and The Night Before (1988) respectively. Ironically, in those films James Spader played a villain and Keanu Reeves played a good guy. See more »
Obvious stunt-double or stand-in for Griffin in over-the-shoulder running shots, revealed by his stiff wig. See more »
It's never quite that easy. You go through the door, and they're never just sitting there waiting for you with a welcoming smile on their face. best you can do is hope they fuck up and do what you can to be there when they do.
Dr. Polly Beilman:
And then blame yourself for the killings?
Oh, no. I blame the asshole who did them.
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The Watcher portrays the somewhat symbiotic relationship between hero and villain and it explores the peculiar means of communication that develop between the two.
After being identified and harassed by the elusive serial killer David Allen Griffin (Keanu Reeves), the distressed FBI agent Joel Campbell (James Spader) moves to Chicago from Los Angeles in order to secure his own safety and peace of mind. However, tormented by the anguish of past failures, Campbell is unable to ameliorate his physical and mental health and his bruised existence is again challenged by Griffin's reappearance in Chicago. Amused and motivated by Campbell's compassion toward all female victims, Griffin (who spies on lonely women and then kills them) heightens the stakes of his hide-and-seek game with Campbell by sending him a photograph of the intended victim of the day, thus testing his ability to save her. However, when Griffin's final defiance involves Campbell's psychologist (Marisa Tomei), the two test each other's limits.
The Watcher follows its two main characters intimately, often detailing the mechanics of Griffin's moves through Campbell's point of view as an observer who must solve a mystery. By depicting Campbell's dependence on painkillers, for example, The Watcher successfully transmits the deteriorated mental and physical state of this protagonistic character. The Watcher is most intriguing when it attempts to portray a society that --through its indifference-- creates its own victims and delivers, so to speak, the loneliest and most vulnerable to their executioner. The Watcher uses this notion of people's unwillingness to help and builds its suspense by simultaneously emphasizing the protagonist's struggles to beat the murderer's deadline. Furthermore, The Watcher successfully defines both protagonist and antagonist as "the watcher" of the other, thus suggesting a somewhat sado-masochistic bond between the two. In spite of this success, The Watcher relies on an excess of repeated flashbacks in the form of highly stylized, often blurry, shots that depict Campbell's previous interaction with Griffin. This choice weakens The Watcher's attempts to establish realism around both characters' past connection, and loosens the otherwise tight pace of the plot.
The watcher hits on both a realistic level, and an entertaining level never before reached with a movie starring Keanu Reeves.
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