Short Film Review “The Watchers”



First, the Recap:

Losing touch with reality. Life has enough stress without being made to feel that your mental faculties are also on the fritz. Simply making every attempt to exist, maintaining a semblance of happiness and success along the way, is often difficult enough without any further complications, right? For one man named John (Jeff Moffitt), this dilemma of whether his mind is going or not has become a tad more paramount to discover than he’d like. With random encounters with total strangers beginning to happen more and more that become unnerving to greater extent each time they occur, John’s grasp on sanity slowly begins to slip.

Choosing to turn to a trusted friend in psychologist Dr. Orwell (Timothy J. Cox), John shares his exploits and fearful agitations, becoming harder and harder to be convinced his anxieties about being followed and hounded are just figments of his imagination. Session after session, John still leaves with no sense of peace, which is only then magnified as he’s soon approached by the police about a specific incident John recalls hearing about. Unsure of why he would even be considered in relation to their investigation, events continue to escalate, soon causing John to truly realize what they say–it’s only paranoia if they’re really after you.

Next, my Mind:

With brisk pacing and an engaging premise that is steeped in Orwellian overtones, director/co-writer/co-producer/cinematographer/editor Sy Cody White’s 28-minute venture into the notion so aptly sung about in Rockwell’s 1984 tune “I Always Feel Like (Somebody’s Watching Me)” hurtles the viewer into a frenetic world of one man trying to determine if that is actually the case or if he’s just going mad. The visual presentation here is laid out perfectly to drive that sense of constant foreboding just enough to be able to believe events could go either way, especially via the highly effective utilization of satellite characters passing by, bumping into, being pursued by, or otherwise observing the lead character’s actions. This further assists in creating an atmosphere of overly suspicious and mistrustful mindsets being portrayed and keeps the viewer guessing until one excellently crafted finale that is more than worth it to experience.

Moffitt is fantastic here in his role as John, a businessman who’s pretty much living a stress-filled life to begin with when suddenly all of it gets kicked up to the next level upon noticing he’s consistently being watched by total strangers and even shadowy individuals—or is he? His growing tension, which he attempts to release at sessions with a shrink, only gets more and more founded, with every single place he goes, including his own home, are not safe from prying eyes. The culmination of his potential delusional state is one whopper of a payoff, and Moffitt absolutely excels in enacting this character’s harried state of being. Character actor extraordinaire Cox again brings his prowess to the screen as the very appropriately named Dr. Orwell (wink-wink, nod-nod), a psychologist invested in trying to persuade and assure his frazzled client he’s not nuts via the prototypical solutions one might expect a professional shrink to offer. It’s a supporting part to play here, yet the character feels completely integral to everything that’s unfolding, and hence Cox’s acting makes you feel that every moment he’s on screen and interacting with Moffitt’s John.

Additional supporting turns abound here thanks to Peter Francis Span, Kathleen Boddington, Darrin Biss, Rich Sab, Robert Nesi, James Konczyk, Mike Sgroi, Gerry Hoylie, and Ronald E. Giles, four of whom have the honor of playing “watchers” that are driving John insane. In total, with the wonderfully presented air of tension and drama plus action/crime elements thrown in for good measure, “The Watchers” is a solid entry into the indie short film world that is well worth a look. Therefore, please give this film a shot–because remember–we’re watching you.

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



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