The Watch Reviews
I just wish it had been a little more entertaining.
First of all, had better add that this is the Clea Duvall movie I am reviewing - I am not sure what is going on with the "cast" list and the 15 minute running time on the description, but judging by the other reviewers who seem to be reviewing the same movie I am, I would say it's one of the mixed up Flixster pages I see from time to time that somehow get meshed together with two different films.
I picked this one up for $2 as I like Clea Duvall... wasn't expecting a whole lot, but was pleasantly surprised with it. Not bad at all for a straight to DVD movie - had good suspense and was really quite creepy. Also, considering much of it is just Clea in a cabin, it runs pretty quickly. I guess maybe I would have preferred if it stuck to what it appears to be, but I've seen a lot of that, and this made a nice change. Something a bit different.
Definitely worth the hour and a half and the $2!
Clea Duvall is always very watchable in these roles, and the story has some effectively spooky moments. Setting an ostensible ghost story in the woods is a novel idea, and the locale is milked for all its eeriness. It's a shame that the Scooby Doo ending explains everything away, and the scope for an actual ghostly comeuppance for the bad guys is an opportunity missed.
the end really sucked lol
She is greeted by the slightly-aloof ranger Rhett (James A Woods) who helps her settle in to her post. But before long strange goings-on haunt Cassie. She sees shadows outside her cabin, furniture is moved around when she's asleep and the only interaction she has are radio conversations with a fellow lookout called Polly. As the days pass, Cassie begins to have flashbacks. Could the creepy events be linked to her abduction nineteen years before?
For a low-budget TV movie "The Watch" does a lot of things right. The cinematography (by Manfred Guthe) is wonderful with a great use of autumnal colours and some beautiful pseudo-panoramic shots across the forest. Indeed, there is much to admire. The story is well-paced and doesn't always choose the obvious plot device, leaving you expecting a horror cliché several times during the movie only for nothing to happen. This is, oddly, quite satisfying.
Director Jim Donovan is 37 years of age and has been directing since the mid 90s. Although mainly involved in TV series, "The Watch" could be a breakthrough movie for him. He does well with the material and teases some genuine tension in key scenes. It's clear he enjoys working with James A Woods (they have previously worked together in "Naked Josh" and "Seriously Weird") and the character's ambiguity is played off well by both director and actor.
So, why the low mark? It was all going steamingly well ... until the last 15 minutes. Donovan is let down by writer Ben Ripley ("Species III", "Species 4: The Awakening") who totally drops the ball, letting the story fizzle out disappointingly. We got from creepy psychological thriller to Scooby Doo in the blink of an eye. You'll see a lot worse than this on TV but be prepared for the ending.