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|Index||11 reviews in total|
The Watch premiered on LMN tonight, and it is one of the creepiest
movies I have ever seen on this channel. It is also excellent. Clea
DuVall is Cassie, a graduate student who accepts a position as a fire
lookout in a watch tower for one month by her lonesome. During this
month of essentially total seclusion surrounded by miles and miles of
vast forest, she will finish her thesis. At least that is the plan...
This TV movie is truly chilling. DuVall is an exquisite casting choice--her acting chops are top notch and it shows. Hunky James A. Woods is also quite good here, and Elizabeth Whitmere is realistic in the best friend role to DuVall. Scenic locations, a sharp score, and solid pacing elevate this flick above some other made-for-TV movies of late. Check it out if you happen upon it.
First of all, this film is the first horror for a long time to give me
chills. Some scenes are genuinely spooky. Unfortunately it peters out
in the last third! The setting is perfect, a young woman isolated in a
forest, completely alone. It is built up slowly, but felt just right,
the early 'shock' moments work well. In fact, it built up perfectly, so
much that I was thinking this could be a great film! But then, there is
always 'the twist'. Most twists are at least intriguing, some are
brilliant, this one kills the film. And the ending is well....kinda not
in the film.
If I was to draw a graph on the films enjoyment level, it would be a slow consistent incline, then a sharp decline in the last 3rd, kinda like a ramp.
could of been so much better.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Just watched this film myself, I was intrigued by the trailer (watching
another movie) and when I saw it in the video store I grabbed it to
I felt it was an okay movie but definitely something I'd recommend you watch either on TV or wait till its in the 2-3 dollar rental range.
The films not hack and slash so if you like your horror films to be the bunch of obnoxious teens get killed in a variety of bloody way's plot look elsewhere. If you like a slowly developing film with a mental focus then this is a good enough choice, the ending wasn't what I was expecting certainly.
However its this ending where the film's biggest problem lies in my opinion as it drags on just long enough to make you think something else is coming (particularly given some events that aren't explained, some of which are happen during this conclusion) but it doesn't.
At the age of nine, Cassie Malloy was kidnapped and locked in a
basement for two days. Nineteen years later, the traumatized Cassie
(Clea Duvall) studies psychology at the Braxton University and needs to
work on her thesis. Cassie decides to accept a four-week job working
alone in an isolated fire watch tower in the forest to vanquish her
demons from the past. Cassie leaves her best friend Andrea (Elizabeth
Whitmere) and travels to the spot, where she meets the forest guard
Rhett (James A. Woods) that brings Cassie to the tower. Cassie feels
the effect of the isolation and experiences weird things but she is
comforted by Polly, the lookout of the east tower. When Rhett visits
Cassie, she learns that Polly died five years ago in a fire. Cassie
decides to quit her job, but Rhett recalls her that she signed a
contract and he needs at least two days to find a replacement. Cassie
agrees to stay while Andrea receives a strange phone call for Cassie.
"The Watch" is a tense and claustrophobic thriller, but with a disappointing conclusion. The writer Ben Ripley and the director Jim Donovan lost the opportunity of making a great supernatural story; with minor modifications, giving an ambiguous or a horror ending, this film would be excellent. Nevertheless, Clea Duvall gives a great performance in the role of a woman traumatized in her childhood that wants to defeat her demons. The talented Elizabeth Whitmere is not only a beautiful and sexy actress, but has a wonderful voice. My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): "Passado de Horror" ("Past of Horror")
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
****SPOILERS**** Somewhat ridicules horror movie that doesn't seem to
know where its going and ends up, with its off the wall surprise
ending,more confusing then ever.
We get to see Cassie, Clea Duvall, in trying to finish her post graduate thesis on the subject of total isolation sent packing by her collage and put in this observation tower in the scenic Ohekawan Forest for a month. This in order to see if she can cope by being alone there without cracking up under the strain. Cassie has already been traumatized when she was kidnapped and locked into a dark room when she was seven. The experience here doesn't help her mental state anymore then her kidnapping did some 19 years ago.
It's within two days of her being alone that Cassie starts to lose it in her hearing and seeing things in the forest and observation tower that are not supposed to be there. It's the young and handsome John Trovalta looking forest ranger Rhett, James A. Woods, who's supervising this crazy experiment and he seems as if he's either trying to drive Cassie insane or is just an innocent pawn in all this just like Cassie is.
It's by now, after two days of this insanity, that Cassie has just about had it and wants to leave the tower and forest for good but events, like the ghosts of Ohekawan Forest's past, prevent her from doing that. It's Cassie's good friend from collage Andera, Elizabeth Whitmare, who finds out from Cassie's collage professor Dr.Miller, Robert Reynolds, that someone has broken into his office and stolen Cassie's personal files! Andera soon comes to realize that what's happening to Cassie is not an accident supernatural or even the result of her fragile mental state. Somebody is playing with Cassie's mind and manipulating her deepest fears for his or her own selfish purposes. In fact this entire experiment wasn't authorized by Dr.Miller at all! But by persons unknown in them trying to push Cassie's buttons in order to see just how much of this isolation she can take before she finally goes off the deep end!
***SPOILERS*** Totally unsatisfying ending has what seems to be a real ghost appear out of thin air and end up terrorizing not only Cassie but the entire movie cast. This is done so shabbily that for a moment your not quite sure who the ghost is using as it host in that when you finally think that you've got a handle on what's going on when the ghost ends up being exorcised by fire. It's then without warning or explanation that the ghost suddenly reappears again,in what seems like a different identity, just like you would see happening in a street corner "Three Card Monty" game! But by then your so fed up with all this game playing that the movies sloppy attempt to scare the living hell out of you, as well as Cassie, has just about lost all it's punch and ends up falling flat on its face ending up just where it started: Totally in the dark!
If you like trees & forests, you'll just enjoy this movie.
If you are looking for a "Horror" movie ... I'm sorry to tell you that you came to the totally wrong place.
The movie's first and second part are totally horror-less ,,, & the last part contains just some tiny little horror scenes, which are not scary "at all".
The movie would have been better if the last part was just removed & was replaced with some social , self-curing scenes. The movie then can be classified as a drama & everyone would have been happy ... but a "horror" ?? Oh, come on of course Not!
So, if you want to relax for a while & watch some beautiful scenes, watch it ... else, just don't waste your time !
A good honest TV Horror movie. Clea DuVall plays Cassie, a girl who at
the age of 7 was traumatised by her kidnapping and imprisonment in a
dingy basement. 20 years later at grad school, Cassie is struggling to
finish her thesis on time, so takes up a job as as fire-watch warden
out in the forest so as to earn some money while having the peace and
calm to finish her project. But soon the isolation brings back traumas
she though had long since past, more so when it appears that someone or
some thing is definitely out to get her.
It's a pretty shaky premise, the whole face your fear factor in the name of setting up a horror story, asking of us a giant leap of faith to believe Cassie really would go live out in the woods on her own. While the narrative plays its hand way too early, something which doesn't help the sub-standard resolution. However, there's some good scares and originality thrown in for good measure, while DuVall is a good value actress when it comes to portraying the various stages of fight and flight. 6.5/10
This movie fails in every way possible. The "fire watch tower" is some
old cabin with a few windows that isn't tall enough to see over the
trees. The depiction of how lookouts and a National Forest operates
makes me think that the writer has not finished elementary school yet
or is someone that has lived and worked in the nature vacuum of a large
city in the eastern U.S. The producers could not even arrange to use a
real lookout tower, which would have helped. But in the end nothing
could have helped this movie. The individual scenes are poorly
connected and when added together in the end, fail to tell any type of
cohesive story. If this site had a negative rating option I would use
it for this movie.
When my wife and I are in a theater viewing movie previews and see one for a movie that looks like a complete waste of time we turn to each other and say "lets wait until this movie comes out on video and not rent it." My recommendation for this movie is "lets see when this movie is aired and not watch it."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ugh, raised my hopes and smashed them flat, they did.
The Watch has an interesting premise: a college student with post- traumatic stress-induced paranoia decides to confront her fears by taking a job as a forest fire spotter, which requires her to be stationed for a month(?) in a log cabin, by herself, and out of cell phone reception range (naturally).
And it went really well for quite a while. Clea DuVall is a good actress, and I didn't even mind her jumping constantly over nothing. The creepiness came into play with the introduction of Polly, the watcher in the cabin across the valley.
Then it all went awry.
With a swift kick to the nuts, it's revealed that all the creepiness is just one big gag played upon DuVall's character by her peers. No further twist, like with April Fool's Day. Just "Haha, you fell for it, you loser" and that's it. The point of the movie seemed to be having DuVall get over her stress disorder, but I didn't watch this movie expecting a Lifetime chick flick about getting over adversities, I wanted a go**amn horror.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Watch" is an incredibly flawed but somewhat enjoyable ghost story.
Working on her college thesis, Cassie Malloy, (Clea Duvall) agrees to go to a forest look-out station to fulfill class requirements and have time to finish her thesis. Arriving at her assigned cabin with Rhett, (James A. Woods) she finds the isolation a little easy-going at first, but after a while she starts to question the true nature of the isolation when she starts to experience a series of strange events that she feels can only be responsible by someone else being there. As the days tick by, she learns that the only companion she was talking to was killed in an accident years ago and reportedly haunts the area, and when she finds that the stories and legends are true and have placed her in great danger, she tries to get away before more harm is done.
The Good News: There wasn't a whole lot here that actually worked. One of the main pluses is that, when it focused on the supernatural elements, it had some good results. The minor attack in the food-shed, with the name written on the wall before the wind gusts shut the door, knocking over the food onto the floor and trapping her within, as the struggle to get free is pretty well done and has some pretty good suspense. The discovery of the charred cabin in the woods, along with the implications from the revealed back-story, are placed into good use during the phone-calls during the chess game later on, where the revealing of the information leads to threats that are played out with the vibrating phone, the sealed-off interior and awakening to find the chess game stacked after being wrecked earlier on is another fine scene, as well as the several different escape attempts that go awry due to being totally unfamiliar with the wooded area and becoming lost several different times. The return the second time around, with the desecrated outside and the message on the walls as well as the ghostly confrontation and eventual escape are all fine suspense scenes that are perfectly done in here. The finale, with the revelation within the station coming complete with the haunting and possession later on leading to the real-life supernatural displays of power, are done rather well and make for a superb finish. A few other rather quick flashes of ghostly action, from the ghost walking behind her in the broken mirror to the self-working water pump and the figure watching in the woods as well as the discovery of the rocking-chair in a different area and the majority of the ghostly figure shown on the video cameras are just great, and also work well in here. The opening is quite impressive, with the creepy house walk-through as a child and the discovery of marital strife and eventually being locked away make for a fine opening. The last plus is the cabin where it takes place, effectively using creaking-wood sounds and howling wind to fine effect. These here are the film's pluses.
The Bad News: There wasn't a whole lot of flaws here, but they were pretty important ones. One of the biggest issues to this one is the fact that there's just hardly anything going on in here that really feels enjoyable or entertaining when the haunting segments aren't in focus. This is most evident in the procrastination techniques she employs while trying to accomplish her work. From reading the novels, which is lamely thrown out the window by the twist that all the endings have been removed, is such a strange inclusion that even including it to be thrown away in just a few minutes later makes no sense at all and really doesn't have any point to being here. While the inclusion of the chess games does indeed derive a scare later on, the scenes going on in the film of them playing aren't that good and doesn't really do anything to justify their inclusion here, which just goes to pad out the film even longer without really making a positive impact. There's also the matter of the harmonica practice, which is just irritating and doesn't really have any point in being in here, going on way too long and joins these other procrastination tactics in that they don't have anything worth adding to the film. The film also suffers from a series of utterly lame ghostly scare scenes that are just confusing as to their inclusion and don't really do much for the film. The lights going off behind her in the hallways at school, which is neither followed-up not explained, is a prime example, but others include the series of static-y radio transmissions while in the ranger station after being told that there's nothing wrong with much of the equipment that are completely ignored or the false alarm in the cabin during the fire-watch, which seems to be merely included because they said it could and doesn't really do much. The last, and most significant flaw, is the finale revelation, which is just insanely stupid and doesn't do much in making the film any creepier or scarier and instead just serves as an excuse to throw the viewers' expectations off, for it doesn't follow anything explained beforehand, seems to come from left field without any sort of explanation and totally undermines the entire film by choosing to remove the supernatural that had worked for the human element, a typical sort of move in these films and becomes really irritating. These here are the film's flaws.
The Final Verdict: While not the most entertaining ghost story around, this one did have some good parts to enjoy even though there's still more flaws present. Really only recommended for the fans of the Lifetime-style ghost films or fans of the cast, while those looking for more hardcore ghost-film efforts should heed extreme caution.
Rated PG-13: Violence and some Language
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