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Watchtower (2001)

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A brother and sister move to a sleepy Oregon town and are befriended by a stranger with a magnetic personality on a summer sabbatical.


George Mihalka



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Complete credited cast:
Tom Berenger ... Art Stoner
Rachel Hayward ... Kate O'Conner
Tygh Runyan ... Mike O'Conner
Elizabeth Carol Savenkoff ... Cindy
Eli Gabay Eli Gabay ... Adam Terrell
Ralph Alderman Ralph Alderman ... Jack
Bruce Dawson ... Tom Blanton
Mitchell Kosterman ... Constable McMurty
Michael Leisen Michael Leisen ... Wayne
Leo Vernik Leo Vernik ... Dick (as Leo Vernick)
Spencer Roy Spencer Roy ... Adam Terrell's Son
James Ralph ... Bar Patron


Orphan Mike O'Conner was abused from age three by his own dad, fled to Chicago to start a rock band but got dragged in bad mates' crime and convicted under probation. Mike's sister, Kate, managed to get him released and employed as assistant lighthouse guard under Adam Terrell, an author on sabbatical. However, Adam is murdered by serial killer Art Stoner, who takes Adam's place and identity. Art himself is the traumatized son of a prostitute, abandoned by the father, who had to watch his mother 'working' and got beaten, as if responsible, whenever her 'clients' hit her. 'Adam' seems to work out as Mike's substitute father, smacking him at worst, but their past starts catching up and Art being seen in action as Kate's lover poisons the triangle dramatically. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »






Release Date:

27 September 2008 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

Cruel and Unusual See more »


Box Office


CAD 5,100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Foggy Bottom
9 March 2004 | by sol-kaySee all my reviews

**MAJOR SPOILERS** The movie starts out with an almost unrecognizable Tom Berenger, Art Stoner, with a beard and shoulder length hair being in bed with his awe-struck, Art's a big ladies man, girlfriend Cindy, Elizabeth Carol Savenkoff,and before you know it plunges a knife into her ribs.

The next morning Art, minus his beard and long hair, is picked up hitch-hiking on the highway by Adam Terrell, Eli Gabay, who's a teacher on his sabbatical going to an Oregon lighthouse to write a book. At the first chance that he has to get Terrell alone when they stop for a rest Stoner again plunges a knife into his ribs and with his car and identity drives to the lighthouse where Terrell rented a place to stay for the summer.

It turns out that Stoner is a serial murderer who murdered some twelve persons from South Carolina to Washington State with the local police and FBI hot on his tail. Up to now your interested in the movie and wonder whats coming up next with the deadly Stoner on the loose in the Great Pacific North West but when he gets to the Oregon lighthouse the movie starts to all apart.

Stoner ends Living at the lighthouse with Kate O'Conner, Rachel Hayward, and her troubled brother Mike, Tygh Runyn, who's on probation for assault. Like most serial killers Stoner has a split personality where he can be kind and gentle as well as personable as he is with Kate and at the same time vicious and brutal as he is with Mike. Even though at one point in the movie Stoner saves Mike from drowning he beats him up for the smallest reasons, It gets to the point where Mike is almost about to break his parole to not only run away from the lighthouse but leave his sister alone with the unstable and crazy Stoner.

With the exception of the first fifteen minutes or so the movie, excuse the pun, just doesn't cut it. You just don't seem to know just what Stoner is all about in his relations with Kate and Mike at the lighthouse because his actions were totally out of character with what he did up to then. Being cunning enough to keep ahead of the police as they chased him across the USA why would he stick himself in one place for six weeks when he knows that the cops are closing in on him! even with his poster, with beard and long hair, all over the town?

Having assumed the identity of Terrell why did Stoner keep a photo of him with the cap that Stoner was always wearing right in the open where it could easily be spotted by both Kate and Mike? In fact Mike did find the incriminating photo and told his sister Kate about it. Kate who's an artist and drew a picture of Stoner did later see the wanted poster and recognized it as being him but for some strange reason didn't think of getting in touch with the police? Stoner kills Mike, off camera, as he's about to tell Kate that he's a serial murderer and later in the movie Kate who already got wind of Stoner intentions stabs him as he's about to murder her as we see him fall into cold waters of the foggy bay by the lighthouse.

Not being able to find him after searching the bays bottom the police assume that Stoner couldn't have survived the cold waters after being there for more then fifteen minutes and you assume that the movie is over. But just then we see Stoner all dressed up in leather and in the pink of health driving Mikes motorcycle as he drops Kate a letter about following her advice and changing and you get the impression that he changed into Mike.

Even if you want to believe that Stoner being stabbed and surviving the ice cold Pacific waters around the lighthouse for hours if not days how could he have recovered so fast without any medical attention? Unlike Jason of Friday the 13th and Michael Myers of Halloween there was nothing in the movie to indicate that Stoner had superhuman or supernatural powers? or was there?

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