Directed by: Dave Parker
Cast: Ivan Djurovic, Sanny van Heteren, James Duval
As a huge Dave Parker fan, I was juiced to see Coldwater finally see release. The film is no longer titled Coldwater (that four or five years ago), it’s now available to the masses as It Watches. But has the wait been worth it? Has Dave Parker gifted us another super creepy flick? It pains my soul to say no, It Watches doesn’t exactly impress.
The concept of the film is solid, as a man, Andre, recovering from a recent car accident is dropped off at a sizeable canyon home to house-sit for someone he doesn’t even know. Once in the home, things get weird. There are creepy mannequins everywhere, and cameras tucked away, taking constant surveillance. There’s even a locked room that houses all sorts of unspeakable horrors. What the hell is going on? Can Andre survive the ordeal, and will we see the mystery solved?
That’s a good idea to run with, but there are misfires in the execution and the film feels poorly structured. To be honest, it actually feels like it’s missing an entire final act. Just as the insanity begins to boil over – boom – the film is over. We see the conclusion unfolding, but expect an entire new set of conflicts to arise, as the movie just feels far from finalized. But over it is. Abruptly and a bit anticlimactic, it simply ends.
Ivan Djurovic owns the film, as he’s the primary player who carries the bulk of the pic on his shoulders. And to his credit, he’s a pretty good performer. He’s a likable guy, but the character’s greatest problem (or the scripts greatest problem, to be more specific) is his poor decision making. There are a number of moments in which we fully expect Andre to react in one way – the logical and reasonable response – but he goes in the opposite direction, choosing to do the last thing anyone trapped in a dangerous nightmare would actually do. It leaves the viewer scratching the noggin on multiple occasions. All those miserable decisions prove detrimental to the movie and its potential qualities.
The editing often feels a little strange, and it looks as though Parker experiments with a few unorthodox techniques. Some of those techniques work, and some simply do not. We are fortunate enough to get a couple of extremely eerie shots, but the uneven feel of the film, and the numerous plot holes work to negate some of those beautiful looks.
My love and support of Dave Parker (I do indeed like Djurovic, as well) will not wane as a result of this film. Every filmmaker is entitled to a rough run, and every single filmmaker runs into one or two in their career. I suspect Dave will bounce back in strong fashion – and pieces like The Hills Run Red, and the Tales of Halloween segment Sweet Tooth leave me very confident that It Watches is more of an anomaly than an indicator of where Parker is today, in regards to vision and professional practice. We’ll see what the future holds in store.