I couldn’t resist.
Synopsis: Who’s watching Oliver tells the story of a mentally unstable loner lost in a life forced upon him. By night Oliver aimlessly wanders the streets and bars on what can only be described as a truly shocking and humiliating killing spree. His only savior and possible way out of a life he is desperate to escape comes in the form of the beautiful Sophia with her sweet eccentricity and naivety to the danger she has put herself in. (Gravitas Ventures)
Starring: Russell Geoffrey Banks, Sara Malakul Lane, and Margaret Roche
Writers: Russel Geoffrey Banks, Raimund Huber, and Richie Moore
Director: Richie Moore
Running Time: 86mins
So much wasted potential. This film featured quite a few interesting ideas, however, failed to execute them thanks to a plethora of mediocrity from the script, acting, and direction. The story here is of course about a man named Oliver (Banks), an unstable loner who is on vacation in Thailand. Oliver wasn’t just any unstable loner, he would also prey upon innocent women at night and performed heinous acts to them on behalf of his sadistic mother (Roche). Oliver didn’t want to do the evil things he did but his mother had a hold on him that proved to be difficult to break.
Oliver’s fortune began to change after meeting a woman named Sophia (Lane) for whom he quickly began to fall in love with as she showed him what life without his mother could be like although it was never clear what life with his mother was like either. Oliver’s mother was definitely evil and annoyingly over the top but her relationship with her son was one of the many areas of the story that were lacking character development. He would basically do everything she told him to do with very little hesitation as to not upset her. It was because of these acts that the film could be designated as a horror film, however, a more accurate description would be more of a thriller.
For a horror film, it wasn’t particularly scary at all. This was a short film, clocking in at under 90 minutes, so it lacked in “scary” moments. Whenever they did occur, it was difficult to not feel detached from whatever was happening because the story was told from Oliver’s perspective. The film simply failed to find the right balance between Oliver’s relationship with his mother, his internal conflict, and his relationship with Sophia. Ultimately, the unlikable characters, the predictable story, and the lack of character development hurt each of these subplots. This was especially the case with his relationship with Sophia, a character who didn’t matter as much she should have, which only fell apart by the end.
Despite everything else going on here, the acting was okay across the board. Banks was okay and the best part of the film as Oliver. He was believable as an unstable loner and still sort of compelling to watch while selling Oliver’s internal conflict but the film did not go nearly far enough with him. Lane was mediocre as Sofia, lacking chemistry with Banks and was cringe-worthy more often than not. However, the worse culprit was Roche as Oliver’s incredibly annoying mother though she isn’t completely at fault here.
Overall, this was a bad horror film that not only isn’t scary but is full of unlikable characters with little character development in a predictable story and is ultimately let down by a plethora of mediocrity from the script, acting, and direction.
*Who’s Watching Oliver will be released on July 3rd, 2018*