We’re hurdling closer and closer to true Halloween season, so any movies about ghosts and hauntings are welcomed treats. Watch Over Us is the sixth feature length film from writer/director F.C. Rabbath, and he’s also made an impressive 22 shorts. I say that it’s a “feature” and not a “horror feature” because, really, this plays out more like a drama than anything meant to terrify you. As rude as this may sound, and I don’t mean it that way, Watch Over Us is the kind of movie you’d find on Lifetime Movie Network that’s branded as a horror film. It’s not scary at all, but it’s got all the components in place to make it a good movie – sleek production, character development, fantastic acting, and family dramatics. If only the supernatural element of the story was more of a poltergeist haunting than a minor annoyance, like living by train tracks.
Though I do see little homages to thee Poltergeist, Pet Semetary and Amityville Horror, Watch Over Us never gets there and always remains as a creepy supernatural mystery that pays more attention to the deterioration of an incredibly dysfunctional family. You see, in Watch Over Us, a father and his two teenage daughters move into their grandfather’s secluded farm house. Almost immediate strange things – like shaking lamps and disembodied voices – plague the family’s somewhat peaceful existence in the woods. But why is it happening and who is the force behind it? And what’s going on in the barn? The mystery starts right away in this film starring Daniel Link, Avery Kristen Pohl, Ella Schaefer, Hudson Meeks, Henry Tisdale, Mike Whaley (“Under the Dome”) and Billy Kelly (“24: Legacy”).
The film is shot really well, and I love the the way they chose to film it. It has a YouTube video quality to it that is one of the reasons projects on that channel are so successful. They’re dark, yet well lit, and give a theater style quality to something on the smaller screens. I guess you can say it’s a step up from looking completely independent. I also liked the drone shots in Watch Over Us. Not only do they give the viewer a nice look at the woods and forests surrounding the family’s home, but they also give off a terrific sense of isolation. A lot of tough subject matter – of all kinds – is being dealt with between the four walls of that house and the secluded location forces them to confront it head on. There’s nowhere else to go. Perhaps the bickering between family members wouldn’t have been so bad if the father wasn’t such an asshole. He really had no redeeming qualities at all and I felt bad for his daughters; so much so that I hoped the ghost would kill him off and the story would switch to follow his children. Alas, him being a terrible person is probably what fueled the entity in the first place.
Watch Over Us was edited by F.C. Rabbath. It was produced by Torch Eberhart and Adam Bertocci with executive producer Maureen Pohl. This was a quick review because this movie is kind of… eh. I don’t have a strong opinion on it either way. It wasn’t scary at all, but it was filmed well and has a lot of good drama and mystery. It exists as a good movie, but not a good scary movie. Final Score: 5 out of 10.