31 Days of Hallowe’en, Day 10: They’re Watching (2016)

Here again, in yet another found footage movie, I wait for the moment that a character rationalises continuing to film once things get life-threateningly dicey. Much like the film itself, it comes and goes.

they're watching 2016 horror kris lemche found footage

They’re Watching follows a small reality TV filming crew and their subject, an American emigrant renovating her forest house in Moldova. As I expected, there’s cultural sensitivity for both sides (“OMG there are no Starbucks here. How do these people survive without caffeine??”), propped up by excruciating clichés of testicle-brained characters.

they're watching 2016 horror kris lemche found footage

We’ve got the bland female and bland male, the joker (Kris Lemche, the only actor to elicit laughs), their bitchy manager (played by a woman who seems hellbent on refusing to deliver her lines out of autocue mode), the floaty, doe-eyed immigrant and the uncle-humoured, bestubbled, ’80s wardrobe bogeyman stock Moldovian character.

they're watching 2016 horror kris lemche found footage

It’s a good chunk of People Making Stupid Decisions (why not secretly film a ceremony you were explicitly told not to AND accidentally turn up the volume of a live transmission to your cunty boss because you clearly know how to do your jobs), until the lesser characters start turning up dead and/or creatively mutilated. Then we’re in ‘what the fuck’/’why the fuck’/’escape the fuck’ mode alongside Things That Prevent The Group from Leaving.

they're watching 2016 horror kris lemche found footage

Based on the synopsis in this year’s FrightFest brochure (but playing on a day I didn’t go), this seemed like it would have been less scatterbrained of a movie. The characters cross-bicker and fight with such poor improvisation skills that I find myself craving the similarly jumbled yelling from the Paul Walker medieval scifi Timecode. It just doesn’t work. I don’t care about any of these people. Fucking tourists.



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