Watcher In the AtticHD
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On an assignment, journalist Naoko Tomioka visits a secluded house previously inhabited by Gouda, a deceased artist with a cult following. At the house, Naoko interviews its six inhabitants, all family and friends of Gouda's, all with mysterious pasts. Many of them refuse to participate, but Naoko finds an area of the house that was Gouda's secret hiding spot – the attic. Soon, she discovers that from inside the attic, one can uncover the darkest secrets of the people below.
Mystery Science Theatre Fans Take Note!
It's an overly ambitious, eccentric horror movie with flashes of David Lynch. That, however, is about as much praise as this movie deserves.
Journalist Naoko goes on assignment to visit the home of her idol, the apparently famed, reclusive painter Gouda, whose subjects and servants still maintain his former secluded home. There, she meets an eccentric collective; two mediums and their daughter, the cheerful landlord, the quiet maid, a man seeking shelter, and perhaps even a mysterious seventh guest. The 'Watcher in the Attic.'
In better hands this could have been a promising plot. Unfortunately, given how the story unfolds, any promise in 'Watcher in the Attic' is squeezed dry before the second act can even begin. Events (such as a scene that can only be described as a homage to 'American Beauty') that have no bearing on the main plot feel inserted to simply pad out the running time, and the scares are nonexistant.
Now that may not have necessarily been a bad thing. There are successful horror movies that depend on atmosphere. There are also successful movies that depend on pure quirkiness. 'Watcher in the Attic' is neither.
The camera direction seems frankly random at times, reading as if a high schooler had just discovered a camcorder. The acting is just all over the place, with some very painful and very random mood swings. The overly cheerful music often does not match what the scenes are going for. And the dialogue is atrociously laughable. In short, this is the perfect kind of movie for an episode of Mystery Science Theatre.
So where does 'Watcher in the Attic' fall? While it may not be an effective horror film, there is a kind of earnestness about it that makes it hard to entirely dismiss. The kind of earnestness that a proud five year old would display in presenting a spaghetti stained stick figure drawing to an adult. For that reason alone, I would recommend 'Watcher in the Attic' as a movie so bad, that it actually becomes good. In a bad way.