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 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.
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.
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.
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.