They're Watching (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

They're Watching (2016)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

When an American home improvement TV show visits a remote Eastern European village, the young crew thinks the lack of mocha lattés and free wifi will be the worst of their problems. But after their filming interrupts the superstitious villagers' private religious ritual, the situation takes a turn for the homicidal...and when the blood starts flowing, that's when things get really weird.

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Cast

Brigid Brannagh
as Becky Westlake
Carrie Genzel
as Kate Banks
David Alpay
as Greg Abernathy
Kris Lemche
as Alex Torini
Dimitri Diatchenko
as Vladimir Filat
Mia Faith
as Sarah Ellroy
Cristian Balint
as Goran Potsnik
Cici Caraman
as Old Hag
George Grigore
as Village Priest
Adriana Bogdan
as Village Punk
Adrian Anghel
as Camera Hater
Bogdan Guta
as Village Brute
Andrei Morariu
as Hotel Clerk
Mircea Bujoreanu
as President of Moldova
Ion Talpos
as Pavolvka Villager
Gheorghe Craft
as Pavolvka Villager
Tatiana Dumitru
as Pavolvka Villager
Ilie Fiti
as Pavolvka Villager
Ion Munteanu
as Pavolvka Villager
Niculae Cristea
as Pavolvka Villager
Aura Petre
as Pavolvka Villager
Alina Predescu
as Pavolvka Villager
Flavius Chirca
as Pavolvka Villager
Cornel Carstea
as Pavolvka Villager
Manuela Cojocar
as Pavolvka Villager
Eduard Bunea
as Pavolvka Villager
Ilie Puscas
as Pavolvka Villager
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Critic Reviews for They're Watching

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (7)

Neither very plausible nor scary, this found-footage exercise is nonetheless entertaining enough for a spell ...

March 29, 2016 | Full Review…

An hour and fifteen minutes of tedium is too long to wait for two or three minutes of pleasantly cheesy.

March 25, 2016 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

The movie doesn't do justice to a promising premise.

March 24, 2016 | Full Review…

The storytelling becomes muddled in the middle, and the suspense doesn't build as well as it ought to, but the winking undercurrent keeps the film watchable.

March 24, 2016 | Full Review…

What we have here is a horror movie with all the expected trimmings: Rumors of witchcraft. An isolated house way out in the middle of spooky woods where no one can hear you ... well, you know how that goes.

March 24, 2016 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Is the film savaging cable TV? Ethically challenged filmmakers? Found-footage horror itself? If the intent was to finish off this subgenre by exposing the rote mechanics behind it, the mission is only halfway accomplished.

March 22, 2016 | Rating: D+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for They're Watching

½

I like found footage horror films, I really do. A lot of the problems people have with the style don't necessarily have to do with the style itself but, rather, how lazy filmmakers use some of the techniques, what with the shaky cameras and shoddy editing. But, and I'm speaking honestly, one of my favorite horror movies of all time was a found footage horror movie. And that movie was Rec. I don't think we should judge an entire subgenre of horror films just because some lazy filmmakers have gotten their hands on it. While every genre has its lazy filmmakers, I think you see more in the horror genre simply because of the fact that horror movies will always be popular and, out of any film genre out there, it has the most loyal fans. If you're a horror fan, you're likely to be a horror fan for life. That fandom doesn't really exist for any other style of filmmaking. The closest thing that would come to that is the superhero genre, but that's mostly because of the fact of the pre-established comic book connection. Anyway, on to this, I just had to get that out there. As far as this found footage movie goes, it's fairly decent. And I do like the approach to its story, as the crew that's filming is doing so as part of this house hunting reality TV shows that there's, seemingly, a million of. It's not something that you'd imagine would make for a good horror movie setting, but it works and it actually makes sense as to why they would be filming everything, whereas in the cheapest of found footage movies, you're not really given a reason as to why shit is being filmed. The only caveat is that this house hunting show is being filmed out all the way in Moldova. They visited Becky as she was searching for a house, the intro to the film and the show the crew is part of. The events are picked up six months after as the crew goes back to see if Becky has renovated her house. While in Moldova, the crew finds themselves in trouble with the locals due to them accidentally filming a funeral, among other things. Keep in mind, at least the way this film presents it, that the community in Moldova where they're filming is very religious and, I'm assuming, fairly conservative. This is a community where just 100 years prior, a witch was burned at the stake, whereas Salem had their witch hunts in the 1600s. So there's some contrast there between what kind of a community this little village is, even after 100 years. One of the main problems here, probably the biggest problem, is that this is probably 20 minutes longer than it needed to be. I'm not saying that, as it was, it was poorly paced, I just felt that they stretch things out past what they should. There's nothing wrong with having an 80 minute movie, there's nothing wrong with that at all. I've never understood that fascination with extending films to a more 'normal' 90 minute running time. Rec, a film I referenced earlier, is barely over 70 minutes long. It was perfect at that length, just fucking perfect. I just feel there's too much unnecessary. Like one of the scenes where the crew is partying with the locals that seems to go forever. I get the point of it, like they build up a certain rapport with each other shortly before it's ruined, but I still felt that it went too long and it could've been edited down for pacing purposes. The acting is pretty decent all around, no complaints there. The look of the film is the look of the film, if you've seen one found footage flick, then you've seen them all when it comes to look. Which brings us to the climax, which is absolute insanity, if I do say so myself. Though the climax is where you notice that they really had no budget to speak of, because there's a lot of special effects and let me tell you that these special effects look really fucking lame. Which is a shame, really, because I did think the last 15 minutes or so of the film were really conceptually cool. It had some enjoyably gory moments as well, but some of the effects just look so lame that it does end up hurting, in some parts at least. There's also some real shit editing during certain parts of the climax. So it wasn't without its problems, but at least the film tries to do something that's crazy and certainly out of the box. So I can applaud and appreciate that, even if the film isn't great. This is average at best. Can't say I would recommend it, but I do think the film has some cool ideas, it's just that none of those ideas come together to make a good movie. It's definitely got its flaws, but I do appreciate the fact that the film had some ambition.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

Or, The Blair Witch Cousin, wherein many elements of that original shocker are commandeered by Hollywood and tweaked towards maximum efficiency. Out in the boondocks of Europe it appears that there are still pockets of humanity all too ready to take up torchs and pitchforks for some good ol' mob justice. Are they wrong? There are moments of scary fun.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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