Tight suspense without gore

Review of The Watcher (2000)

Review of The Watcher (2000) movie, by Stefan Stenudd


I enjoy a movie that refrains from big effects, and still manages to create tension, suspense and a dramatic acceleration. This one does.



       The way it avoids closeups on murder victims, even the moments of murder, reminds me of the Hitchcock principle of less is more. It is very elegantly done, if such a word is permitted in this circumstance. At the moment when our horror of what is about to take place is at its peak, the camera moves away. Other scenes, with a more complex emotional content, are allowed to play out.

       Played out competently, I must add. Both Keanu Reeves and James Spader perform with sophistication, creating a rare psychological realism. Their faces seem like clean of make-up, like those in Rembrandt paintings.

       Many more things about the movie are both intelligent and original, such as avoiding to have primitive aggression played out between police officers, although Spader plays an outsider to the force, and not a very polite one at that.

       There are some weaknesses as well. Primarily, I would have liked to see the relation between the main characters - the hunter and the hunted - explored further. It needed to be anchored in the story, from the beginning of it, and processed to its own dramatic conclusion.

Stefan Stenudd
17 November 2003




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Click the header to get to the webpage where I present all my books in English. Click an image below to go to that book's page on Amazon.

Ever Young. Novel by Stefan Stenudd. Sunday Brunch with the World Maker. Novel by Stefan Stenudd. All's End. Science fiction novel by Stefan Stenudd.
Tao Te Ching - The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Quotes - The Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Cosmos of the Ancients. Book by Stefan Stenudd.
Aikido Principles. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Attacks in Aikido. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Aikibatto. Book by Stefan Stenudd.
Occasionally I Contemplate Murder. Book by Stefan Stenudd. QI - increase your life energy. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Life Energy Encyclopedia. Book by Stefan Stenudd.
Tarot Unfolded. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Your Health in Your Horoscope. Book by Stefan Stenudd.




About me
I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.