Feminist thriller has bloody violence, grisly image.
No reviews yet.Add your rating
Based on 2 reviews
Common Sense is a nonprofit organization. Your purchase helps us remain independent and ad-free.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Watcher is a horror thriller about a lonely woman named Julia (Maika Monroe) who believes she's being stalked but doesn't have any proof beyond a feeling. Like many horror films, the theme is trusting your intuition -- in this case, writer-director Chloe Okuno uses the situation to explore how women can feel when their instincts are dismissed and how that creates self-doubt. Another woman (Madalina Anea) works as an exotic dancer; her profession is portrayed without judgment, but her co-workers are shown dancing inside a box, nude except for pasties and thong underwear. Violence is bloody and intense, including knifings, shootings, reference to sex crime, and a macabre image that will sear into viewers' brains. In a scene filmed from a distance, a couple removes their clothes while kissing. The expletive "f--k" is used a few times.
There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
What's the Story?
Julia (Maika Monroe) and her Romanian-born husband, Francis (Kris Glusman), move to Bucharest for his career. There, a serial killer is on the loose, and Julia, lonely and isolated, is unsettled by a WATCHER she sees in a window across the street, who seems to be looking into her apartment.
Is It Any Good?
Writer-director Chloe Okuno overdelivers on the promise of her movie's title but, in doing so, underwhelms in creating suspense. On her first night in Romania, Julia looks out the large picture windows of her apartment and sees other people in the building across from her who haven't pulled their curtains. A shadowy figure seems to be looking at her -- but is he? Julia thinks she's being followed, but is she? Viewers doubt Julia. News stories of a serial killer are swirling, and her paranoia is doubled by the fact that she doesn't know the language in her new country. When she feels that a man at the grocery store must be the same one that she sensed was staring at her from across the street, she starts following him, trying to validate her feelings.
Who is the "watcher"? Is it the creep across the street -- and is he even "watching" her? Or is it Julia, who is now stalking him? Or is it the viewer? We're looking at Julia, judging and evaluating whether we believe her feelings of being hunted. But in making us a watcher of Julia rather than showing us her experiences through her eyes (a subtle difference, but it's there), our own senses are muted. Unlike The Invisible Man, which deals with similar subject matter, we don't feel the hair raise on our necks when Julia feels she's being watched, and we aren't holding our breath when Julia feels she's in danger. Still, Okuno has created a piece of work that has merit as a feminist discussion piece.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the term "curiosity killed the cat." Do you think Julia's curiosity leads to the film's final events, or do you think it helps her? Why is curiosity an important life skill?
Who is the "watcher"? How does the filmmaker turn viewers into watchers, keeping us on the outside while still being with Julia during her experiences?
What scary movie hallmarks did you spot? How does this compare to other horror films you've seen?
Do you consider this a feminist film? Why, or why not?
Viewers are following Julia's every step, yet the filmmaker puts us in Francis' shoes -- how? What's the purpose? Would you have done anything different if you were Francis?
- In theaters: June 3, 2022
- On DVD or streaming: October 4, 2022
- Cast: Maika Monroe, Karl Glusman, Burn Gorman
- Director: Chloe Okuno
- Studio: IFC Midnight
- Genre: Horror
- Character Strengths: Curiosity, Perseverance
- Run time: 96 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: some bloody violence, language, and some sexual material/nudity
- Last updated: February 22, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Dark, violent stalker thriller has strong performances.
The Invisible Man
Clever, tense sci-fi horror remake has blood, gore.
Disturbing violence, swearing in Soderbergh thriller.
Single White Female
Intense, sexual, violent tale of worst roommate ever.
Notorious case inspires dark, sinuous thriller.
For kids who love thrillers about the female experience
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate