Movie Review: They're Watching (2016)

Synopsis: A film crew travels to a remote, superstitious town in Moldova to film a follow up episode for a popular house hunting show. While there, they manage to offend the residents by filming a funeral and, as they are filming their follow-up, find their lives in danger from a mob looking to burn the home's owner as a witch.

Who's in it? The movie stars Brigid Brannagh, Carrie Genzel, Mia Marcon, David Alpay and Kris Lemche.

Review: I had never heard of this film until I came across it on Netflix yesterday afternoon. But, while I was a bit skeptical, the description of the movie was intriguing so I decided to give it a try, albeit with tempered expectations.

As it turns out, the movie was actually better than I was expecting it to be. The remote Eastern European location gave the film an uneasy feeling from the start (a necessity for horror movies), especially with the less-than-friendly villagers. And, while they were far from perfect, the members of the film crew (or, at least some of them) were kind of likable. This made it easier to care if they lived or died.

I also liked how there was an air of mystery surrounding the homeowner, Becky (Brannagh). It seemed strange she would purchase a property that was so remote and completely gutted. And, it was even more strange she would manage to get that same property perfectly fixed up in a matter of months. But, at the same time, she seemed friendly enough so it was hard to tell if there was something off about her or if it was just the movie playing tricks on me.

Unfortunately, while there were things I did like about this film, I did also feel the movie failed to live up to its potential. A large part of the reason for this is the movie takes a long time to get going. The majority of the film is about the film crew, their relationships with each other and their opinions of the remote village. While this did, as I mentioned before, help make some of the characters likable, it did start to feel a little redundant after a while.

I must admit, however, even though some parts of the ending were predictable (and the movie spoils part of it by revealing a death early on) the final battle with the villagers (with the "surprise" twist) did prove to be a bit more entertaining than I was expecting and at least helped save the film a little bit at the end.

Final Opinion: A faster pace probably would have helped this movie immensely. But, that being said, I also have to say I didn't hate this film and would recommend it if you are bored and are looking for something to watch.

My Grade: B


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