This weekend, audiences can witness the work of a fresh female horror director through Chloe Okuno's Watcher, starring modern indie scream queen Maika Monroe. The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival early this year after a long gestation period that dates back six years. CinemaBlend spoke to Okuno about her first feature, and she got honest about getting the movie off the ground and into theaters.
Watcher follows an American woman Julia (Monroe) who has recently moved to Bucharest with her husband, Francis. Whilst already feeling isolated and alone in a new country, Julia begins to sense a man in a window across from them lurking and then following her around the city. When speaking about making her first full-length feature in Watcher, Chloe Okuno shared the process of getting the independent film made. In her words:
Watcher was made under a set of circumstances that were not necessarily ideal. And as Okuno pointed out, getting the financing for the project was the biggest roadblock, and that was only amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. The director continued:
In this day and age, studios aren't necessarily throwing money at every horror project that comes their way and, as Okuno’s experience shows, there was some risk involved for Focus Features to take a chance on a new filmmaker like her. Interestingly, when the movie debuted at Sundance, it screened alongside other horror films like Mimi Cave’s terrifying Fresh (which debuted on Hulu earlier this year) and the Rebecca Hall-led Resurrection, which is set to be released this summer.
Now, following a long process to get her first movie off the ground, Chloe Okuno is busy with a number of projects. As she told us:
Upon Okuno saying this (also in the video above), Maika Monroe quickly returned from a brief leave from the interview to say “please.” It’d be great to see the pair work together, especially for that intriguing mermaid horror movie she teased. The Dating Game was announced back in April, with Anna Kendrick set to star, per Deadline. As Okuno shared, Rodney Alcala appeared on ‘70s matchmaking series The Dating Game amidst a killing spree of five women and being convicted for the murder of a 12-year-old girl. However, the show’s background checks were clearly lax.
The Watcher is now playing in theaters and will be available to stream on Shudder at a later date. Following Top Gun: Maverick’s big weekend, Watcher is likely to be an underdog at the box office. Stay tuned for more coverage on upcoming horror movies here on CinemaBlend.
YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.
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