Runtime: 95 minutes
Release Date: March 25, 2016
Director: Jay Lender & Micah Write
They're Watching may seriously be my favorite horror movie of the year. I started watching it while playing a game on my phone and quickly realized that there was absolutely no way I could ignore it. It hooked me from the beginning and had me laughing my ass off for much of the film.
We meet Becky and her boyfriend, a professional soccer player, as they search for a place in Moldovia, on the popular house hunting show Home Hunters International. After finding a rundown place in the middle of nowhere, she decides to buy the house and turn it into her dream home. Months later, Greg and Alex, two of the original crew who shot the episode, return with Sarah, a new employee, to see if Becky really transformed the house. They meet up with their producer, Kate, and Vladimir, the only real estate agent in town, to check on her progress.
Alex thinks the whole thing is pretty ridiculous and can't imagine that she did anything. All he really cares about is finding some random chocolate bar, and Greg only cares about potentially hooking up with Sarah. They quickly learn about the legend of a witch who once lived in Becky's house and how people in this tiny little town are still scared of the witch. While shooting b-roll footage around town, they mistakenly wander into a funeral and shoot footage before getting run off. When Sarah shouts their word for witch in the middle of the town's restaurant, people are less than thrilled. All of this is just backstory that leads up to the whole crew getting trapped in Becky's house as bloodthirsty locals wait outside. Are they after the crew for what they did in town, or if there something more sinister happening behind the scenes?
They're Watching really is one of those films that hooks up in from the very beginning. What other movie can you name that literally starts out with a girl getting an ax through the head and then reintroduces her minutes later as a main character? While you know she's going to get it in the end, half the fun is watching the story unfold and waiting to see what happens to her and everyone else.
My favorite was Kris Lemche as Alex. You might remember him as the goth/emo kid from Final Destination 3, which I reviewed not that long ago. While he's still got the whole sarcastic jack ass thing going on, he's easily the standout of the film. One of the best moments comes when the crew is stuck in Becky's house and trying to sleep in shifts. He's stuck listening to Greg and Sarah flirt in another room and finally yells out at them if they're done before mumbling to himself about how he needs to get some sleep. It's hard to explain, but the scene actually made me snort.
And let's not forget the Home Hunters International, which even used a song and cut scenes similar to the real show. You could almost believe that this is a show that would air on HGTV up until the second half. Given that I just watched all episodes on Netflix, it was hysterical.
The last 10 minutes of They're Watching were some of the bloodiest 10 minutes I've seen on screen in a long time. Once the witch makes her appearance, the bloodshed starts and doesn't let up. In addition to a woman getting an ex to the head, we get a man turned into frogs, a guy vaporized into nothing, a guy literally ripped in half, and a guy's face get ripped in half. It was far gorier than anything I've seen in recent times. Between the humor and the gore, I just couldn't get enough. They're Watching is one I would recommend to any horror fan.