Film: They’re Watching (2016)
Director: Jay Lender/Micah Wright
Genre: Found Footage/Horror Comedy
Why You Should Watch It: Witchy sh*t!
I walked into THEY’RE WATCHING knowing little about it after a mutual on Twitter (X? Meh) recommended it to me, and I’m glad I did. All I knew was that it was a found footage film and I was in! It’s important to know that this is intended to be a horror comedy though so that when the silly Scooby Doo stuff starts to happen, you’ll laugh instead of roll your eyes and groan. Got it? Then let’s dig in…
They’re Watching starts out with a gruesome found footage scene, followed by clips of a couple on an international home buying/fixer upper reality TV show. The couple decides to purchase a super creepy house that needs more than just a little paint in a rural town in Moldova. Sounds like typical dumb rich people stuff right? Who in their right mind buys a haunted looking run down shack in the woods in a country where they don’t know the language or anything? You know exactly what kind of people, and yes, they get what’s coming to them.
Enter the hapless production crew that is sent out to film the transformation of the house a mere six months later. I loved the way that they parodied HGTV-style home buying and renovation shows (a guilty pleasure of mine). I personally feel like six months was not enough time to make the state of that house livable, let alone show-ready with curb appeal, but I’ll suspend belief for this type of film. Of course, once the crew members reach the small town, they act like obnoxious Americans and don’t respect the townspeople and their traditions and get caught up in some witchy stuff along the way. Oops.
If you pay attention to the narrative of the film, the writing is literally on the wall for the fate of the production crew. Bread crumbs of evidence lead the crew to the literal gingerbread house in the woods where you can just tell some bad shit is going to go down. Yes, you will guess a lot of the plot, but it’s a fun ride to see who gets got and how. The dread builds for the first 75% of the film and in the last 25% is when things really go sideways and the entire tone of the story shifts. The ending is silly and ridiculous and fun and is perfect for the horror comedy tone of the film.
If you’re looking for a short, witchy found footage film that you can watch for free (Tubi, Roku and more!) be sure to check out THEY’RE WATCHING.