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‘The Watchers’ brings my run of enjoyable horror to a shuddering end

Film Review: The Watchers (15)

Starring: Dakota Fanning, Georgina Campbell and Olwen Fouéré

Director: Ishana Shyamalan Run time: One hour, 42 minutes

The Watchers
The Watchers

After years of avoiding horror films, I’ve been quite enjoying the genre lately. Abigail was good fun, Immaculate was quite enjoyable and I also watched Michael Flanagan’s Midnight Mass series on Netflix.

However, a poor script and some below-average acting from Dakota Fanning as the film’s main character brought my good run to a shuddering halt.

Ishana Shyamalan directs and co-wrote The Watchers and hopefully it’s the start of a learning curve for the daughter of acclaimed movie maker M. Night Shyamalan. Because this is not a great film.

It starts promisingly enough as we are thrust headfirst into action and see a lone man running in a forest from an unseen enemy before seemingly being eaten up by the ground.

We then cut to young artist Mina (Fanning), who is lost in the same Irish forest sometime later when her car breaks down while on her way to deliver an exotic bird to a zoo.

After finding shelter, she is trapped alongside three others and each night they must parade in front of a glass screen to mysterious creatures they cannot see.

So far, so good, although Fanning’s performance is so lame that you really don’t care what happens to her character. The same applies to her fellow ‘Watched’ - they are so one-dimensional that it’s hard to care for them.

There’s some Irish folklore at play, I think a tenuous attack on reality television and an entirely unsatisfactory and convoluted ending as the whole thing spirals into nonsense.

This film just disappoints. After starting well, it wasn’t scary, exciting or particularly interesting.

Rating 4/10

By Jeremy Ransome

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