A family living with their grandpa find out that there's more than meets the eyes
at their families' barn.
Written By: F.C. Rabbath
Directed By: F.C. Rabbath
This is the second feature I've had the privilege of watching from writer/director F.C. Rabbath. I've got to say that thus far, this is my favorite. "Watch Over Us" will appeal to all lovers of biblical horror, although forcing this title into the "horror" drawer is probably not a suitable fit. You see, as interesting as the film is... it's not really that scary. Due to the content however, labeling this film as a supernatural horror is probably as close as you can get to what it actually is. So? I guess by this point you're probably asking if it's any good? Quick answer: Yes. Yes it is. "Watch Over Us" features a great story - acted out by some even better actors. Taking the term "deal with the Devil" to heart, this film was a well paced romp into what could be any of our lives. Add in the ups and downs our world presents us, family, mistakes, good, evil and then of course... the supernatural. Oh. Did I mention the dating scene?
With all the good that is "Watch Over Us", there are still a few less than stellar points of interest I'd like to write about as well. Mainly, the hand-held camera style which makes up a large portion of the film. I'll never understand why filmmakers still rely on hand-held shots so much. It just doesn't take that much longer to set up a tripod! I'm not talking about anything fancy, just a regular, run of the mill tripod. In most cases, and certainly when writing about "Watch Over Us", a tripod would have been an easy and awesome fix for most of these jittery compositions. Not using so many hand-held shots would have made a massive impact on the visuals in the film, in a positive way. Hand-held screams independent, no matter how good everything else may be. The sad part? As I wrote, it doesn't take much to lock things off. Why wasn't it? What was really distracting, was going from a beautiful aerial shot, nicely executed and smooth as silk... to a shaky, jittery hand-held one right after. Repeating this process over and over is not like peanut butter and jam, rather like oil and water.
Where F.C Rabbath does pull things off is in the smart writing. Mainly the dialog. The characters come across as natural and real, easily helping off-set the hand-held styling. Of course, it also helps that the cast themselves perform splendidly. One could argue that the dialog rings as true because it is performed so very well. I personally feel it's a little bit of both. In any case, the cast performed admirably, making "Watch Over Us" very easy to watch and to some extent... believe.
I truly enjoyed my time spent here. When comparing with the first film, "The Hum", I had the pleasure of watching from F.C. Rabbath also, I can't help but notice that on almost every level, this one is simply better. When you consider how much I liked the first one, you may wonder why I awarded the same score. It all comes down to the shaky camera work. As "into" this film as I was, I kept coming back to the hand-held shots. As a whole film, a lot of viewers won't even notice after a while. But for me, it was a constant reminder that this was, in fact... an indie production. Still though, as much as I dislike jittery and shaky shots on a personal level, this was an excellent movie. For many, this style has become the norm... and may simply not be noticed at all. In those cases you'll find nothing not to like. This is a great movie and one I plan to add to my personal collection when it becomes available.
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