A STRANGER IS WATCHING
Reviewed by: Donny Broussard
Sean S. Cunningham
What's it about
A little girl along with her dad's girlfriend is kidnapped three years after watching her mother get raped and murdered. The kidnapper wants money, the fuzz want the kidnapper, and the dad wants his girls back.
Is it good movie?
Sean S. Cunningham, the guy that brought Jason Voorhees to life for horror fans around the globe decided to offer up a more serious film only two years after making summer camps a mainstay of the slasher genre. A Stranger Is Watching seemed more like a movie of the week than the follow-up to one of the greatest horror classics of all time. It follows a kidnapper (Rip Torn) after he kidnaps the daughter of a man who's wife was raped and murdered only three years earlier. The victims then struggle to escape, and the fuzz along with daddy do everything they can to track down the kidnapper.
The location, which is set beneath Grand Central Station is very atmospheric, and could have been creepy as hell. Unfortunately the way the location was used in the film was very generic , and instead of becoming the menacing character it should have it falls short. The way I see it the underbelly of New York City should be the best friend any serial killer, maniac, kidnapper, or mutant monster looking to make the switch from hobbyist to full time bad guy could have. But the sad fact is that in this film it's just a place and nothing more.
The actors with the exception of Shawn von Schreiber who plays Julie Peterson (the kidnapped girl) are pretty good. Kate Mulgrew or Captain Kathryn Janeway for all the Star Trek: Voyager fans out there did a fine job as Sharon Martin, the girlfriend of Julie's dad. Her along with Rip Torn carry this entire flick.
This could have kicked so much ass, and it is very disappointing that it falls short of any ass kickery whatsoever. I expected more from the man that brought one of my childhood horror hero's to life. This film is not going into my Halloween watch list, but if it was on TV at 4am and I had nothing better to do, then I might not change the channel.
Video / Audio
Video: Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: The sound was clear, but nothing special.
Nothing but the theatrical trailer here.
If you get the chance to catch this flick on the boob tube, then check it out and see if it speaks to you. Otherwise I don't think passing on this one is going to be a decision that anyone will regret. I would advise renting Friday the 13th instead, but that's just me.