horror, thriller, films, mystrey, Lindsay Ferris, Stephanie King, film, halloween, Observance

Is OBSERVANCE worth observing?

The film starts off impressively with all the right ingredients for a good thriller. Camera angles pan from the drop of a steep cliff with the roaring ocean below, translucently to a train window. Cut to a close up, of blood dripping from an old tap. Day One flashes across the screen.

Before revealing any further clues, the scene cuts to Parker (Lindsay Farris) spying on a pretty young blonde girl Tenneal (Stephanie King) There is a lot of darkness and what looks like an abandoned warehouse. We have now arrived at Day Two.

I’m a little confused. 10 minutes into the film, I don’t understand what it is about. We return to random camera angles, showing close ups of various parts of a rundown looking desolate apartment. Then we jump back to the ocean scenes & what looks like a dead body. I am struggling to understand if Parker is having memory flash backs or if is he dreaming?

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When Parker rings a research center to make inquires, I assume we are been dangled a carrot, in the form of some sort of plot reveal. Sadly this proves false, as the phone call is abruptly ended and we are none the wiser as to what is happening.

What I can decipher is that “yes” Parker is indeed spying on Tenneal. (who seems to be having some kind of domestics with her fiance) Parker receives a phone call from his “employer” revealing that it is in fact “his job” to “watch the client” However we are none the wiser as to why, with this bit of information.

Okay time for some questions for the horror movie enthusiasts. What is that creepy black gooey stuff in those jars? Why does it look so sinister when he innocently cuts his finger in the kitchen? And what the hell was that crawling through his milk? As for the shower scene, thanks to Physco I had that one sussed. It’s pretty much your iconic bread and butter shots for this genre.

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The flash backs to the cliff top now come complete with a little boy. I’m confused! Intrigued (yes) but it is really starting to bug me that no story line is emerging. If it’s any consolation, even our lead character Parker appears to be confused as to why exactly he is watching his client. Much like playing parcel the parcel, no matter how many layers we seem to unwrap, we don’t appear to be getting any closer to the prize/plot.

Just before the arrival of some phantom sex siren, we come to Day 4. (just as Clueless as Alicia Silverstone’s Cher)

Day 5. Are those eyeballs in the jar? Followed by what the f-ck did he just spit out his mouth? (*it looked something like the little girl off The Ring!)

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This movie sways heavily on a pendant between supernatural thriller, and straight up bad ass killer. Maybe even clocked in some deep physiological metaphor for past grief, and what ever else throws people on the path for a slow and steady downward spiral into crazyville. But I just didn’t get it. Ease up on the arty and abstract. A clearer story line would go a long way in helping what was some good concepts for a way to weird film.

2.5 out of 5 stars

Ange S