Jun 12, 2024

Follow The Birds

The Watchers
New Line Cinema (2024)
Ishana Night Shyamalan's directorial debut is very Shyamalanian.  I suspect that if you showed this to a moviegoer without telling them who wrote or directed it, their first question would be to ask if this is an M. Night Shyamalan film.  Either Ishana's producer father had an extremely heavy hand in the finished product, or she has been so inspired by her father's films that her own work is indistinguishable from his. 

The Watchers feels like a longer film than it is.  The tension didn't feel very tense.  It just kind of dragged on, with plot devices that mean nothing because the movie breaks them whenever it feels like it.  For example, the creatures in the woods are supposedly unable to enter The Coop (the building in the poster), except when they easily do so with no explanation.  The main character's backstory with her mother and sister fell completely flat, and while the mythology of the creatures was pretty interesting, it just made me wish that it could have been explored by a better filmmaker.

I left the theater feeling the same as I did after seeing Knock At The Cabin and Lady In The Water, which is to say that what I saw on the screen wasn't bad enough to be called a bad movie, but it also wasn't good enough that I'd recommend it or want to watch a second time.  I've generally been kinder to Shyamalan's films than the critics have been.  Hell, I still go to bat for The Village and The Happening, but this schtick is wearing pretty thin.