Review of THE WATCHERS
Oct 12, 2010,
By Elizabeth Sellars
Made in seven days in and around New York and New Jersey, at a cost of only $350, Two Man Crew Productions’ taut suspense / thriller short The Watchers (which I had the pleasure of seeing as part of the Cinematique Film Festival in Manhattan a few weeks back) is an exciting thrill ride, with its share of twists and turns, thanks to its rapid pace, tight direction and solid camera work from an impressive Sy Cody White, who co-produced and co-wrote the screenplay with the film’s star Jeff Moffitt.
Moffitt plays John Porter, an ordinary man who goes about his days like any other person and yes, has his share of problems. His wife Marcy has just left him, taking his young daughter with her, but he’s trying to salvage the marriage, leaving message after message, but no replies from Marcy. It’s affecting his work.
To top it off, he suspects that he’s being watched and followed by a number of very suspicious characters.
New York has suspicious characters? Hard to believe.
Suspicion becomes reality when at every turn, John is being followed and watched. On the street. In the subway. In his home. They follow his every move, even leaving little notes that he is being watched. He can trust or confide in no one. His calls to Marcy become more and more frantic, but still no answer coming from her. He goes to see a shrink (Timothy J. Cox) but he has serious doubts about John’s story, dismissing his claims as nothing more but fantasy. Can he be trusted? Could he be in on “it” too?
Moffitt and White’s script smartly doesn’t give too much away, with the results being highly original and entertaining. If you think you know how this whole thing is going to end, think again, you’re in for a surprise.
As far as the look of the film is concerned, you’d never believe that the film was shot on a shoestring budget. White’s camera work is solidly paced, perfectly adding to the suspense and mystery.
As for the performances, Peter Francis Span does nice work as a mysterious visitor who comes into John’s life at the end of the film. As one of “the watchers”, Kathleen Boddington’s soft, but commanding voice provided chills, while Timothy J. Cox is stand out in a few brief scenes as John’s skeptical shrink, Dr. Orwell.
If the film has a weak spot, it’s in the leading performance of Jeff Moffitt. Mr. Moffitt is not a bad actor, but I think he over-thought the role a bit. Throughout his performance I saw the wheels turning a little too much. Put simply, I was always aware that he was giving a performance.
Overall, if you’re a fan of suspense and mystery, then I would highly recommend seeing The Watchers, which is going to be presented at the Big Apple Film Festival on November 2nd at the Tribeca Cinemas.
For information on the festival, please visit http://bigapplefilmfestival.com/
For information on The Watchers, please visit www.twomancrewproductions.com