Someone is Watching August 26, 2008Posted by Rusty in someone is watching.
Boy oh boy! A Lifetime horror movie! This is promising.
Someone is Watching opens with a costume party. The hosts announce that they’re engaged. As the scene is inter cut with the opening credits, we see someone (presumably the male fiancee, but that would be too easy) attack the lady fiancee, throw her down some stairs, and then murder her with a fire poker. We flash forward to the kindly old landlord washing the blood out and repainting the walls. A year later, DNA scientist (yes, really) and single mom Michelle moves into the home with her six-year-old son.
For what it’s worth, Michelle looks eerily like the murder victim.
Michelle has a controlling and angry ex-boyfriend named Charles who still hangs out around the family. When someone starts stalking Michelle and calling her and hanging up, we’re supposed to think it’s Chuck. Again, that’s just too easy.
There’s another creepy dude in the mix. The landlord’s handyman son is a total creep who may or may not be ‘tarded. He’s clever enough to strike up a conversation with Michelle at a playground and pretend that one of her son’s playmates is his daughter. But he’s not clever enough to not get caught snooping in Michelle’s kitchen window.
The landlord reads his son a mean-spirited riot act and the son pulls a Lenny routine. “I just wanted to touch the pretty girl, Pa.” The son goes downstairs and hangs himself. Fun!
Michelle starts up a relationship with the detective assigned to her case where it’s revealed that Michelle was a home invasion victim years ago and she didn’t have the guts to shoot the intruder. This is portrayed as some kind of weakness, but, really? She scared the robber away with a gun. How does that leave her any worse off than if she shot the poor bastard?
Michelle’s son, meanwhile, strikes up a relationship with an imaginary friend in his closet. How imaginary? Well, if you throw a ball into the closet, the imaginary friend, BJ, will throw it back out. So it’s either a psycho or a ghost.
Michelle’s nosy next door neighbor (Margot Kidder!), thinks ghost so she hires a psychic. The psychic is deaf because, well, deaf people are creepy. The best part of this whole exchange is the psychic’s translator awesome line readings. Anyways, the psychic frantically waves her hands around and informs Michelle that someone fell down those stairs, that a man with the letter “J” in his name is evil, and that there’s a diary hidden in an old bookcase.
The “J” red herring is especially galling when considering “J” is, like, the most common letter in dude names. Hell, they make Charles’ last name begin with “J” just for good measure.
Anyways, the diary. The diary is all sorts of happy and there’s no evidence of acrimony between the betrothed couple. There is a picture where the murder victim is wearing a broach….a broach that someone gave to Michelle a few days ago. She assumed it was an unsolicited gift from Charles, but now she can’t be so sure.
Charles and Michelle get into an argument about it at her place. When he leaves in a huff, he notices someone painted the word “loser” on his Mercedes. He goes to the landlord, who I should have mentioned lives next door, (hint), and asks if he saw the vandal. The landlord…who remains unseen, (hint), says he saw the perp and invites Charles in.
Oh, somewhere in there, while reading the diary in the bath, Michelle has some kind of hallucinatory fever dream. Why not?
Michelle goes to prison to visit the male fiancee who has been convicted of killing his lady. He proclaims his innocence. Michelle calls her boyfriend detective and asks about the landlord’s son’s suicide. It turns out the son didn’t die at all! It was the landlord who has been dead this entire time!
Meanwhile, the babysitter/nosy neighbor investigates the son’s closet to show him there is no imaginary friend. Instead she finds a secret passage to next door. She follows the passage and is murdered by the land lord’s son with a hammer. The son sees this and freaks out so the murderer, BJ, locks him in a basement room.
Michelle gets home and magically figures out what’s going on. She discovers Charles’s body and confronts BJ with her gun. He disarms her by, no joke, pointing the other way and distracting her.
BJ’s deal is that he is obsessed with the pretty ladies and wants to start a family with them. When the last renter got engaged, he got enraged. So Michelle is careful not to upset the murderous BJ. Her son throws a baseball at him and BJ falls down those same stairs. Then Michelle shoots him.
The film ends with Michelle honoring her neighbor’s memory by having a showing of her watercolor paintings of angels. Again, not a joke.
ACTUAL AWESOMENESS: 4
I admit it took me longer than it should have to figure out what going on. So, kudos for that, Lifetime. But…this film didn’t make a lot of sense.
I still don’t know if BJ was supposed to be disabled or not.
IRONIC AWESOMENESS: 9
Here’s an example of how great this movie could be. When Michelle was at a shooting range, she still couldn’t get over her fear of killing that home intruder. So the screen starts vibrating, and then shaking, and the camera spins around Michelle’s head while she freaks out. This happens in the movie three different times. And it does not get old.
HEY! IT’S THAT GUY!: 3
Say you’re Margot Kidder, Lois Lane herself, and a few years ago you had an, uh, an incident where you were hiding in some shrubbery and had shaved your head because you were convinced computer viruses were trying to kill you. You get therapy, medications, and make the long road back to being a working actress. Wouldn’t you go out of your way to not play a character like a raving loon?
Female intuition, pushy ex-boyfriends, a child in danger, a police officer love interest. Just because it’s a horror movie doesn’t mean that it can’t paint by the numbers.
GRAND TOTAL: 26
This is one of the weirdest movies I’ve seen on the network, so it deserves the high score. Recommended.