IT WATCHES (2016)
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Flick is the latest full length feature from Dave Parker who directed the criminally underrated The Hills Run Red and the Sweet Tooth segment from last year’s Tales Of Halloween. The film tells the tale of Andre (Ivan Djurovic who also co-wrote) who has been in a car accident recently and suffered a concussion that has resulted in short term memory loss. He is asked to take over house sitting duties from a friend and soon after entering the odd house, begins to experience strange things. Andre can’t decide if there is something going on, or is it the paranoia his doctors warned him might occur. But unknown to Andre, there are cameras hidden all over the house and someone is watching his every move…but why?
Parker and his star and co-writer craft an interesting tale of a man unsure of if what he is experiencing is real or the result of a suffered head drama. Realistically you might think one would not ask a man in Andre’s condition to house sit, though things do work out to make sense, when all is said and done. There is some tension as Andre starts to get spooked, his girlfriend just up and disappears and a creepy neighbor shows up to add to the young man’s paranoia. Parker builds some nice atmosphere here in this unsettling house and keeps us curious along with our leading man as he begins to investigate his temporary dwelling. He also lets the audience know someone is indeed in the house with Andre, but keeps his lead character unsuspecting so we are on edge as Andre searches the house with this mysterious watcher lurking in the shadows. Writer and director provide an interesting reveal in our last act that, also comes with some disturbing imagery. It might not have been hard to guess where this flick was heading, but it still worked well enough.
For the most part this is a one man show and Ivan Djurovic is fine in the part of Andre. He could have used a bit more range, but is adequate enough to serve the story. His performance is a bit by-the-numbers, but the added plot caveat of having head trauma does help the actor out a bit, as Andre’s uneven tone is not totally out of place. There is also Rick Irwin as his friend Robert who hands the housesitting gig over to him, Sanny van Heteren as girlfriend Rachel and James Duval as the mysterious and odd neighbor that shows up and spooks Andre. My only complaint about this neighbor character is that the big reveal leads one to question why he was behaving so strangely in the first place.
I liked this small flick. It’s not as good as The Hills Run Red, but it is chilling at times and entertaining and Parker shows he is a director that the horror genre needs to see more of. The film has it’s flaws and the acting may not be as solid as it could have been, but it works well enough even if the final moments take us somewhere not totally unexpected. A worthwhile chiller for a night on the couch.
3 surveillance cameras.