“Anything quicker than an optic foot per second and people at home are gonna start throwing up.” A professional cameraman gives that advice to a new crew member in They’re Watching and in the same moment reassures the audience that it’s in good hands — found footage or not, this isn’t some bargain-basement wobblethon.
The pair work for a home improvement show on location to see how new homeowner Becky (sunny Brigid Brannagh) has spruced up a cottage she bought in the Moldovan hinterlands. The TV crew is a likable, if privileged, bunch, but certain members’ ignorance causes friction in the village.
Their local fixer, Vladimir (imbued with shady clownishness by Dimitri Diatchenko), tries to smooth things over, but on the next day’s shoot the woods are full of surly townspeople; before too long, the first body is found.
Writer-directors Micah Wright and Jay Lender are kids’-cartoon vets and show a facility for comedy on a more human level here — as does the nimble cast, which ably handles the tonal shift from travel nightmare to actual nightmare. And the film carries us right along when it gleefully swerves into another style of horror in its final act, having laid the groundwork for that, too.
Written and directed by Micah Wright and Jay Lender
Opens March 25, Cinema Village