2016 (February 21, 2017)
- Film/Program Grade: B
- Video Grade: A-
- Audio Grade: A-
- Extras Grade: C
Dave Parker’s It Watches showcases what can be done with limited budgets and imagination behind the camera. Released in 2016, it picks up the story of Andre, a young man who has recently been in a car accident. Looking to get away from his life for a bit, a friend takes him to a secluded house so that he can be alone, complete with a well-stocked refrigerator, booze, and drugs. However, it isn’t long before he realizes that somebody else is in the house and watching his every move.
Shot and completed for next to nothing and co-written by its star Ivan Djurovic, It Watches has been accused elsewhere of being stale and bringing nothing new to the table. I, conversely, don’t really believe that every film has to add something new to the mix in order to be effective. Parker does a lot with very little, particularly being stuck in one location. There are a variety of shots, particularly during a sequence in which Andre is high and we get to see things through his point of view. The horror aspects rely mostly on atmosphere and sound, which is set up quite well. The story and eventual outcome are a little messy, but the journey getting there has some suspense if you crank up the sound, turn off the lights, and let it work on you. It Watches is a fine film, and one that deserves more attention.
The A/V presentation of It Watches is a strong one. Shot digitally and from a variety of perspectives, it’s a clean and stable presentation with good colors and deep black levels. Nothing really to complain about. The same goes for the audio, which comes in two options: English 2.0 and 5.1 Dolby Digital. Both are strong presentations, but I preferred the 5.1 as it had a little more bite and, obviously, surround activity that was more enveloping. The quiet sequences when ambient and LFE activity are doing their job are its real highlights. Also included are English subtitles, as well as three audio commentaries: one with actor and co-writer Ivan Djurovic, one with both director and co-writer Dave Parker and Djurovic, and another with just Dave Parker. The disc also opens with trailers for Krampus Unleashed, Lone Wolves, and Crazed.
It Watches will probably be remembered more by folks who work within the genre, but those outside of it are doing themselves a disservice by not checking it out for themselves. Although some good things have been said about it by reputable people, it still should get a little more recognition, as should many smaller features like it. For around $12, this is a DVD release worth checking out, especially if you’re interested in no budget filmmaking.
– Tim Salmons