Indie Film Review “Watch Over Us”

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First, the Recap:

One might make the argument that a deal is only as good as the paper it’s written on or the people with whom said agreement is made with. Terms are set, parameters established, and a timeframe for its enforcement is arranged, finite or ongoing. Ultimately, it comes down to who benefits the most from the matter, whether shared mutually, or otherwise coming at great cost. Trying to get back on their feet following a family break-up, Jon (Daniel Link) and his two daughters Eliza (Avery Kristin Pohl) and Becca (Elly Schaefer) have taken up residence at their grandfather’s (Henry Tisdale) rural farm. Attempting to seek out and obtain gainful employment, Jon struggles with maintaining any sense of unity between the three of them.

Also trying to date again, Jon’s distracted and beleaguered existence is only made more unsettled by his daughter’s claims of strange noises occurring consistently during the nights, with even more eerie sounds emanating from the property’s barn. At first thinking the two girls are overreacting, it only becomes a matter of time before it’s evident something is present within the structure. Calling on contractors and even a priest (Mike Whaley) to assess the situation, it’s only upon the arrival of Jon’s son (Hudson Meeks) and a startling and disturbing revelation from their grandfather that brings the actual situation to light. Suddenly dealing with a truly diabolical force and a pact made generations ago also involving his brother (Bill Kelly), Jon and the rest are forced to choose what actions to take in a desperate bid to save their family.

Next, my Mind:

Created by a man of many parts, aka writer/director/co-producer/cinematographer/editor F.C. Rabbath, this 68-minute feature film brings a decidedly creepy and unnerving atmosphere to what could truly be considered part morality play intermixed with dramatic and horror elements, all intertwining to a finale that initiates the viewer into a jarring state of contemplation about the ramifications of choices made and at what price the results come. The narrative also calls into play the notion of how some people are willing to sacrifice even their own selves or others for the sake of achieving success, even when it brings about less than optimum results for everyone else touched by these desires. Well filmed with a needed “keep things unseen or only hinted at” approach, the tension and menacing air to events only assists to elevate the grander tale unfolding here, and leaves much for the viewer to envision on their own, which this reviewer feels makes this style of effort more effective. It also doesn’t make things any less freaky once said menace is revealed.

Link is very solid as Jon, giving his broken-down, on-the-edge character that perfect sense of discouragement in trying to stay connected to his daughters while also aiming to make amends for past mistakes and unforeseen circumstances in the present, on top of then having to deal with a force so outside his initial comprehension that it seems impossible it could be reality. Moreso, Link greatly embodies sheer strength of will to take action when the truth of everything happening around him is made frighteningly clear. Pohl and Schaefer are wonderful as the two sisters Eliza and Becca, each bringing the very realistic enactment of how sisters behave with one another, often in disagreement/conflict, yet still illustrating how much they are there for one another overall, unconditionally. Their frustrations in having their father actually be willing to see what’s happening around them and then hesitations to do anything about it is well played here, too.

Tisdale’s grandfather is suitably scary in his own right when having to finally explain the deal made with pure evil and its lasting effect on the family. Supporting turns from Meeks, Whaley, and Kelly all add weight to the effort, each having a pivotal role to the overall scope of the story. Viewers might need to be made aware of some harsh language here as well as one quick sequence of nudity. Overall, though, “Watch Over Us” is actually a fine, supernaturally-infused indie effort that should make us all consider the implications of deals made when the real price isn’t fully considered.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!


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