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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Neal Cassady is living the beat life during the 1940s, working at The Tire Yard and and philandering around town. However, he has visions of a happy life with kids and a white picket fence.... See full summary »
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.
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 Los Angeles, 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 sent 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
During production, the film was called "Driven", but Universal decided to change the title to "The Watcher" when the Stallone racing drama with the same name was announced. See more »
Towards the end of the film, right before Griffin shoots Campbell with the shotgun, we see a close-up of the Glock pistol that Campbell is holding. You can clearly see that the barrel is plugged with only a small hole showing. This is obviously a prop gun, most likely a BB gun. See more »
David Allen Griffin:
Why did you turn away from me? Why was it so hard for you to accept? Cos you know I did it for you. You came so close to me that night. I remember clearly what I felt when I heard your footsteps falling behind me. Pride. I thought it would keep us together forever. For me it was our finest moment. I can still see the flames.
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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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