WATCH, THE: DVD
Cassie (Clea DuVall), a psychology student, struggles with the trauma of her kidnapping as a child. Living her daily life in the past, Cassie is faced with continual reminders of her fear of the dark and of being alone. Now as a graduate student, Cassie is ready to face her fears and move on from this life of constant worry. To exorcize her demons and to finish her thesis, she decides to affront isolation, working at a secluded watch tower as a fire lookout in the forest. But once she's alone in the watch tower, strange things start happening.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
This efficient and tightly made (if slightly flawed) horror-tinged thriller has a terrific young cast and a zesty concept - with a couple of twists that are not signalled. Clea DuVall has a girl-next-door charm, and her co-stars are engaging and entertaining, like Elizabeth Whitemere, the extrovert and James A. Woods as the guy on the firewatch. Woods has an easy naturalism and likeability.
The dialogue is sassy contempo, 20 something jive, and some of the autumn scenery in the first act is spectacular. But it's quickly into the main story, as Cassie starts her one month job at the fire watch tower, while continuing research for her thesis on post traumatic stress disorder in children ... a bit like herself, a child kidnap victim. All this washes well, and sets us up for the spooky games that soon begin.
The consummate technical skill that goes into making telemovies like this is evident, resulting in a compelling story with just enough hooks to keep us engaged. The script is economical, with occasional dry humour and a degree of originality - like creepy scares in broad daylight, out in the lovely woods.
With a bit more tension in the middle act, it could be a real sizzler. On the plus side, the structure allows us to get involved with the characters, notably Cassie.
Published March 19, 2009
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WATCH, THE: DVD (M)
CAST: Clea DuVall, Elizabeth Whitmere, James A. Woods, Victoria Sanchez, Morgan Kelly
PRODUCER: Neil Bregman, David J. Patterson, Jesse Prupas
DIRECTOR: Jim Donovan
SCRIPT: Ben Ripley
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Manfred Guthe
EDITOR: Jean Beaudoin
MUSIC: Luc St-Pierre
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Perri Gorrara
RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD
SPECIAL FEATURES: none
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Peacock Films
DVD RELEASE: March 19, 2009
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.