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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Feb 2, 2023



WE LOVE watching thrillers and we didn’t expect much with “Watcher” on Prime Video, but it turns out to be surprisingly effective. 

The writing and directorial debut of Chloe Okuno, it stars Maika Monroe (of “The Guest” with Dan Stevens and the hit horror film, “It Follows”) as a young American woman from New York.

She marries a Romanian, Francis (Karl Glusman), and they had to relocate to Bucharest for his job promotion there.  

They move into an apartment with a huge window and Julia notices a man on a building across the street looking intently at her.  

At first, she doesn’t mind but she notices that the man is observing her regularly. 

She gets alarmed when she sees on TV that a serial killer called the Spider is roaming around beheading young women. 

She befriends a beautiful neighbor, Irina (Madelina Anea) who says her own boyfriend has given her a gun for her personal protection.  

With her husband busy at work, Julia has time on her hands and walks around the city.

While on a trip to the city one day, Julia feels that someone is stalking her. She succeeds in evading him and hides in a store. 

She reports it to the police, but they don’t have enough evidence to conclude that it’s the man who’s watching her from his own window.  

She feels isolated as they have a language barrier since she doesn’t speak Romanian.   

She tries using another tack by waving at the man, who waves back to her. She learns his name is Daniel (Burn Gorman) and follows him. 

He works as a janitor in a strip club, where Irina turns out to be working. Julia asks Irina about Daniel but she doesn’t know anything about him. 

That night, Irina goes missing.    

Julia has her own hunch about what happened but the problem is that no one would believe her. 

Even Francis makes fun of her fears, saying it’s just a case of paranoia. 

We’ll stop here as going further will be a real spoiler. 

Suffice it to say that Julia gets the chance to confront the serial killer at the film’s climax and it’s a really a pulse-pounding moment.   

Maika Monroe gets our sympathy as the harrassed heroine as we can feel the terror that creeps in and consumes her. 

No one would take her suspicions seriously and some people even say it’s all in her head, with her imagination just running wild.

Director Okuno knows how to heighten the suspense by keeping the viewers guess as to what is real and what is merely a state of Julia’s mind, aided and abetted by an evocative musical score that makes it all even more gripping and tense. 

The violent conclusion is quite satisfying and we won’t be surprised if, in the end, Julia decides to split up from her apathetic husband.