Watch Over Us [INDIE FILM REVIEW]

Watch Over Us CoverDirector: F.C. Rabbath
Production Company: F.C. Rabbath Productions
Genre: Horror/Suspense
One Sentence Synopsis: A family caught in the middle of a devil’s deal.
Series: Standalone
Release Date: Fall 2016
Running Time: 67 min
Website: Click Here
Trailer: Click Here
Reviewed by: Reverend Leviathan
Final Score: 4.0 Moons (out of 5)

John Randall is a single, unemployed father living with his two daughters, Becca and Eliza, at his father’s house.  As if tension between him and his daughters wasn’t enough, there are strange events that keep happening around the house and family barn.  Supernatural forces appear to be present, and there might be a little family secret about a deal made with a certain someone (or something).  Will John be able to protect himself and his daughters, or must he “renew the contract” to gain his father’s inheritance?

Story

The film begins with the caption “idle hands are the devil’s playthings,” and it grabbed my attention.  We delve right into John Randall and his issues as a single parent (employment, tension between daughters and father).  Once the supernatural stuff started happening in the house I was afraid this was going to be just another haunted house movie or a retelling of Poltergeist.  As the story progressed this turned out not to be the case (sigh of relief).  It began taking hold when they spoke more about the barn (No, it’s not a haunted barn story either).

When they called a priest over to see about what was causing the events, I was impressed that although he appeared skeptical he performed accurate exorcism rites and was very emotional.  The spirit is never fully revealed which adds to the suspense, but more is revealed after John speaks with his father.  Why are these events taking place?  Is there more to the story?

What I found most compelling about the film is that the story is almost more about the emotions and frustrations that John is going through as a single parent, and the supernatural is almost secondary; it just adds more frustration between family members.  I think it could have had an extra 30 minutes to explain a little more about the family and John, rather than try to mesh everything into an hour performance.

John (Daniel Link) and Becca (Elly Schaefer) respond to the supernatural.

John (Daniel Link) and Becca (Elly Schaefer) respond to the supernatural.

Presentation

The cinematography in this movie is outstanding.  There are a lot of very good aerial shots with beautiful scenery, along with great lighting and editing.  The effects (both sound and visual) are good, not going over the top (though I would’ve liked to have seen a better shot of the enemy).  Every now and then the camera was shaky when it seems a steady shot was a more appropriate choice.  Musical score really helps to flow the mood and suspense of the film.

Daniel Link gives an amazing performance as John Randall.  His frustrations and strong emotion are evident.  The character portrayal was so strong, in fact, I was more interested in him than the cause of the supernatural around the house/barn.  He appeared to have very good chemistry with Avery Kristin Pohl and Elly Schaefer as his daughters.  Henry Tisdale as the grandfather was also powerful.  You feel a sense of disgust with him but also pity.  No actor/actress in the film gave a dull performance.

Gothic Fit

The dark spirituality and supernatural elements in this film are very appealing to the Gothic viewer.  It is suspenseful and one can relate to the character of John Randall, being caught in the middle of light and dark and attempting to overcome being the black sheep of the family.

Closing Thoughts

Watch Over Us offers its audience a very emotionally driven suspense with great cinematography and performances.

Story: 3.5 Moons
Presentation: 4.5 Moons
Gothic Fit: 3.0 Moons
Final Score (not an average): 4.0 Moons (out of 5)

Score: Four Moons

Author: Reverend Leviathan

Reverend Leviathan is the Music & Media Editor at DarkestGoth Magazine.

He has been part of the Gothic community since his high school years. He released an album in 2008 entitled "Eden's Graveyard" and has also self-published a book, Gothlic: The Testimony of a Catholic Goth. He specializes in music (Goth, ambient, industrial, horror punk and doom metal) and independent films. You can follow him at Facebook.com/revleviathan7.

If you have questions about having your music or media reviewed or featured at DarkestGoth, you can email Reverend Leviathan directly. (Not all music or media will be eligible for coverage by DGM, due to its style or the current knowledge base of DGM staff. If your media is accepted, we are currently estimating a 90-120 day turnaround for reviews and/or other coverage, so please plan requests accordingly.)

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