June 23, 2024

The Watchers 2024 Movie Review

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The Watchers 2024 Movie Review

It’s hard not to compare Ishana Night Shyamalan ‘s feature film debut with the work of her father M. Night Shyamalan . Apart from the first name in the credits, They See You feels and looks exactly like a work by the former child prodigy who made himself infallible with The Sixth Sense but later suffered shipwrecks time and again. Despite all the setbacks, he always remained a topic of conversation and was able to make films that were sometimes more and sometimes less successful. Thanks to a new contract with Warner, who will not only release his upcoming film Trap: No Way Out (in theaters from August 8, 2024), but also They See You , which Papa Shyamalan produced – a matter of honor.

The Shyamalan signature is recognizable from the first minute. The narrative is not slow, but solid. Unimportant characters, such as the boss of the main character Mina ( Dakota Fanning , The Equalizer 3 – The Final Chapter ), remain out of sight. Shyamalan Junior tries to make the plot as concentrated as possible. She succeeds, and soon we find ourselves with Mina, a bird in a cage and a lot of fog in a forest from which there seems to be no escape.

An elderly woman, played by the wonderful Olwen Fouéré (who has previously been seen in Mandy and the recent Texas Chainsaw Massacre , among others ), first acts as a savior and then as an explainer. There is a lot of explanation, which would be fine if it were followed by something that at least gave a sense of purpose. But The Watchers (the original title) is more of a believer in exposition than motivation. This leads to the few really important characters behaving in an almost absurd way. The psyche of Daniel ( Oliver Finnegan , Creeped Out ), for example, seems entirely designed to integrate a conflict somehow. So be it.

All of this would be bearable if the film had even the slightest bit of suspense. What is offered in this regard, however, is hot air, which is then pent up and released at the end for a resolution that neither evokes the great feeling of an aha nor an astonished oh . Admittedly, who the Watchers ultimately are is something that no one will figure out so quickly. Which is not to say that the obligatory resolution is clever or artful. Quite the opposite. The whole thing is nothing more than a fulfillment of duty, even if the script, or rather the novel by AM Shine, uses an area that is not without its own charms.

At least there are a few moments in the film that provoke a slight shudder. For example, when we see the threat more clearly for the first time and it rears up in front of us. These are only brief moments, which are also offset by zero tension, but Ishana Night Shyamalan shows at least rudimentarily that she is capable of creating effective images. The only problem is that these do not dig into the audience’s minds – at least in her film debut. But while the film is captured by the retina, there is not much room for deep reflection anyway. One question, however, unintentionally winds its way through the film: What is the point? The film fails to answer.

Ishana Night Shyamalan’s “They See You” lacks deep tension. The occasional scary moments are too short and superficial, and the resolution is disappointing. Despite ambitious approaches and atmospheric images, the film cannot compensate for the lack of substance and the often implausible acting of the characters. Unfortunately, this is not a promising, but rather a sobering cinematic debut for the director.

The Watchers 2024 Movie Review