Watcher review – The Film-maker creates a creeping sense of dread

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Maika Monroe is the icy blonde who senses something is seriously wrong with the man in the neighbouring apartment building who keeps staring at her through her dining room window.

Or, as the police and her seemingly well-meaning husband Francis (Karl Glusman) keep telling her, is it all in her mind?

Monroe’s Julia could be projecting her own fears on the silhouetted head and shoulder that always meets her gaze as the sun sets on Bucharest.

She’s only just arrived in the city with her bilingual husband.

She doesn’t speak the language or understand the customs and has been seriously spooked by news reports of a serial killer beheading local women.

Okuno uses all the tools at the film-maker’s disposal to make us share Julia’s creeping sense of dread.

Her isolation is defined by unsubtitled dinner conversations with her husband’s Romanian colleagues.

While Francis works suspiciously late in business meetings, the corridor she hurries down alone looks unnaturally long.

And there’s a horribly tense sequence in a nearly empty cinema where a late arrival chooses, of all the seats, the one right behind hers.

When she plucks up the courage to turn around, we hear him breathe and get a glimpse of shoes.

A suede desert boot has never looked so terrifying.

  • Watcher, Cert15, In Cinemas Now

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