2018 has been an interesting year for indie horror films. I had the honor of screening and reviewing Terrifier (2017) a couple months back, which has made quite a pretty big splash with the horror community. Another goodie I had the opportunity to review, Director’s Cut (2016) should hopefully elevate to cult status. The flick I’m taking a look at today, I feel could have even more staying power than the previous two. So as always, I went through my customary screener ritual of popping popped corn, cracking a cold brew and dimming the lights. IT’S MOVIE TIME!
Who’s Watching Oliver? (2017)
Oliver is an odd ball. Some may call him well, a nerd. He’s a socially awkward and unstably medicated guy seeing the world as a tourist in Thailand. Taking pictures everywhere he goes. On the outside, he appears to just be trying to sow his international oats, but on the inside, Oliver has a grisly and dark secret. Oliver soon meets a strange, yet beautiful American woman named Sophia. The two immediately click, albeit awkwardly. Will Sophia uncover Oliver’s deadly secret before it’s too late?
I went into Who’s Watching Oliver with an open mind as I do all my screeners. But within the first 15 minutes, I knew I was in for an incredibly fucked up roller coaster ride. As the synopsis hints to, Oliver has some problems. He’s a creature of habit, always meeting for a facetime chat with his mum at one in the morning precisely on the dot. He definitely has obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), as he meticulously lays out his medication on the table in front of him before he takes them. Oh, and there’s one more problem, he is a homicidal maniac. Every night, he roams the Thai streets and alleyways hoping to lure his next female victim to their death.
That is, until he meets the naïvely sweet and incredibly beautiful Sophia (Sara Malakul Lane, Beyond the Gates). Oliver begins to feel something he has never felt before. Love. Not sure how to process his emotions in a normal way, soon he inevitably starts to rethink his homicidal tendencies and begins to truly enjoy his life. Thus, begins an awkward and somehow cute love story.
Oliver was expertly portrayed by Russell Geoffrey Banks. My first experience with Banks’ acting came in the under-appreciated Thai horror Ghost House (2017). With Who’s Watching Oliver, I was completely blown away by Banks’ performance. His attention to detail and creating Oliver’s awkward idiosyncrasies, truly brought the character to life. Banks’ performance carried the film and made it so much more, than it otherwise would have been with a mediocre actor. It was one of the best character performances I’ve seen in some time.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Who’s Watching Oliver is going to do great things. First time feature filmmaker Ritchie Moore captured a truly horrific and at times beautiful landscape. It felt like a socially awkward American Psycho with a love story, that had a nice twist at the end. This flick will definitely be added to my blu-ray collection.
NSFW Red Band Trailer!!!!!
Thanks for reading boils and ghouls! And remember….