(Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

(“The Watchers” trailer courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

After an advance screening of “The Watchers,” movie representatives asked audience members what they thought of the movie as they always do after advance screenings.

One moviegoer said, “it was free,” which is not a ringing endorsement of “The Watchers.”

RegalMag.com will not be that harsh.

But “The Watchers” is a little bit too eccentric for its own good.

Unfortunately, tragedy affects people in different ways.

Some people use tragedy to motivate them into greatness.

On the other hand, some people become a shell of themselves and never fully recover from tragedy, especially if they blame themselves for the tragic event.

In “The Watchers,” Mina’s (Dakota Fanning) life is in a rut.

She has a job at a pet store.

Mina has her own home.

But she constantly has a depressed look on her face.

Although she likes to go out from time to time and play dress up, she is dealing with something from 15 years earlier that she has not totally come to peace with.

It is so stressful that Mina has cut off all contact with her own family members.

From the looks of it, Mina does not even have any true friends because there is no one in her life but a co-worker/boss.

Therefore, when she is asked to deliver a parrot to a zoo in Belfast, Ireland, she has no qualms about the job assignment because what else does she have to do?

Mina is not familiar with the town that she is driving.

So, she has the GPS on her phone to help guide the way to her ultimate destination.

But what happens when modern technology suddenly stops working and a person finds themself off the grid.

Gone are the days when people could just pull up to a gas station and purchase a paper map.

And even if those were still available, Mina finds herself lost in a deep and dense forest, with no other human beings in sight.

When Mina’s car breaks down in the forest, she decides to get out with the parrot that she has named Darwin and walk to find help.

But the farther she gets into the woods, the farther she gets away from civilization and any possible help.

To make matters worse, when she decides to return to her car, the vehicle has vanished from sight.

The forest is scary enough for Mina and Darwin in the daytime.

So just imagine how terrifying it will become at night with all the deadly animals probably lurking around.

Luckily, Mina is able to find some human support deep in the forest from a strange lady named Madeline (Olwen Fouere).

In “The Watchers,” Madeline has found refuge in a fortress-like dwelling that protects her, Daniel (Oliver Finnegan) and Ciara (Georgina Campbell) from what comes around at night.

In 1985, hip-hop legends warned all who would listen that the freaks came out at night.

The rappers from New York were probably not talking about the watchers who come out in the eerie forest.

Although Mina is initially horrified about the creatures that stalk the forest at night, Madeline lets her know that the watchers only come out to observe human beings in their natural state.

Therefore, if the four just act normal, all will be well by the next morning when the sunlight returns.

Furthermore, Madeline informs Mina that to live with the other three, she must abide by her rules.

Although grown folks often do not respond well to rules, the rules that Madeline has enforced are only around to keep the foursome safe from the watchers.

But some people will always buck the trend and bend the rules.

In “The Watchers,” Mina is one of those people.

However, when Mina’s rule breaking puts all four in danger, all you-know-what might break loose.

Fanning is obviously the undisputed star of “The Watchers” and she does not do a poor job in her performance as Mina.

However, the storyline is just too odd for her to truly shine.

The most likable character in “The Watchers” is Daniel.

He is a little quirky, offbeat and socially awkward.

But still has an innocence that will make moviegoers root for him.

However, his social awkwardness or social anxiety does not always suit him well considering “The Watchers” is a horror movie.

Ciara is another character that audiences will gravitate too.

She is alone at the fortress with the other three.

However, she desperately wants to reunite with her missing husband.

Her yearning for a reunion might not put the group in the best situation when the isolation begins messing with her mind.

In “The Watchers,” however, the weirdest character is Madeline.

She is ODD in capital letters.

However, maybe being in the forest away from civilization has caused her to act in such a bizarre manner.

Or maybe there is something untrustworthy about Madeline.

Regardless, Mina is not totally feeling Madeline’s whole program.

For the life of her, Mina does not know why the others just follow her rules and orders without questioning her motives and who put her in charge in the first place.

But what if Madeline is correct with all her rules?

Maybe that is something Mina is willing to test.

Despite the conundrum that Mina finds himself in, audiences will not be faced with the same difficult scenario.

The creatures/monsters seem derivative from other horror films.

The storyline seems too outlandish.

And after watching “The Watchers,” many will be disappointed, especially those that did not get to see it for free.







Todd A. Smith
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