The Watch


Rating 1½

Directed by Jim Donovan

Written by Ben Ripley

Clea DuVall (Cassie), Elizabeth Whitmere (Andrea), James A Woods (Rhett), Victoria Sanchez (Sophie), Morgan Kelly (Chad), Matthew Kabwe (Professor Bateman) and Robert Reynolds (Dr Miller)

As a young child, Cassie was abducted and locked in a cellar for two days before being rescued. Nineteen years later she is struggling to complete her psychology thesis. Having been given a thirty day extension, she takes a temporary job as a fire lookout in a secluded watchtower in the middle of a beautiful but remote forest. She is trying to overcome her fear of isolation, but she is soon haunted by fears from the past.


‘The Watch’ is a made-for-television film that was shot in Ontario in Canada and first broadcast on the Lifetime Movie Channel in the USA in March 2008. I like psychological horror films that aspire to being creepy rather than gory and I do have a soft-spot for Lifetime movies, but my main reason for choosing to watch this film was the presence of Clea DuVall in a lead role.

The film starts out reasonably well and although it does not offer anything new and, in fact, borrows heavily from Japanese horror films, it does create a nicely judged aura of creepiness. Unfortunately, it soon begins to succumb to borderline tedium. The eventual twist is not all that hard to guess and the ending is absolutely nonsensical, unless I am missing something obvious.

With a stronger script, sharper characterisation and a surer directorial hand, ‘The Watch’ could have been rather good. As it is, the film has its merits, particularly during the first 45 minutes or so, not least of which is the excellent DuVall, but ultimately I found it something of a disappointment.

Review posted 8 August 2009

Screencap taken from


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