A Supernatural Honey New Release Review by Suzanne
They’re Watching (2016)
I fully admit I get sucked into “reality” TV shows, especially when I should be working. It’s such mindless entertainment and the market is saturated with a variety of shows that appeal to all kinds of tastes. Home improvement, house flipping, and home buying shows are particularly popular. It was inevitable someone would take that idea and add a horror element to it. Writers/directors Jay Lender and Micah Wright have done just that.
“Home Hunters Global,” an American home improvement show, returns to the remote village of Moldova to see the restoration of an old farmhouse. The show profiled the purchase of the farm six months earlier by expat, Becky Westlake (Brigid Brannagh). The crew keeps cameras rolling so as not to miss anything, but that interferes with some of the local rituals, making a solid case for why Europeans dislike Americans, and the superstitious townsfolk press them to finish their work and head back to the States. To make matters worse, there is a century old story about a woman who lived outside of town who was burned at the stake for being a witch. Suspicions are raised surrounding Becky and the more the film crew spends with her, the less the villagers are inclined to let them leave.
|Stop filming, OMG!|
Alex (Kris Lemche) and Greg (David Alpay) are the veteran cameramen. Sarah (Mia Faith) is the assistant who landed the job simply by being the boss’ niece. Show host, Kate (Carrie Genzel), is insufferable and is nothing more than a joke to her staff. Rounding out the group is Vladimir (Dimitri Diatchenko), Becky’s real-estate agent who acts as a translator and guide. They are so self-involved, they aren’t concerned that their antics are disrespectful to the inhabitants of the town. After they interrupt a funeral, rather than make amends, they continue to pry into the customs and folklore.
The found footage format has overstayed it’s welcome and it certainly doesn’t work here, even with the reality show storyline. In 80 minutes out of its 95 minute runtime, They’re Watching showcases nothing but the crew walking, riding in a van, and talking. The dialogue feels so disingenuous, you have to wonder if it was badly ad-libbed, or just a poorly written script. Essentially, nothing happens until the very end of the film. That nothing also includes no real character development so when the blood begins to flow, you feel no sympathy for anyone. Once we get to the long awaited climax, we’re slapped in the face with a chaotic mashup of cheap special effects and dizzying camerawork.
While obviously not meant to be taken seriously, it comes up too short to be considered a horror-comedy. It also doesn’t have the good fortune of falling into the “so bad it’s good” category either. What could have been an interesting idea for the format suffers from the inadequate execution of every other aspect of the film.
|I can't find them anywhere!|
Supernatural Honey Rating: Two greasy Moldavian real-estate agents out of five
They’re Watching is available on VOD right now.