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Jun 14

Watchers

POSTER - WATCHERSGenre: Horror
Year: 1988
Country: USA

Director: Jon Hess
Starring: Corey Haim, Michael Ironside, Barbara Williams, Blu Mankuma, Lala Sloatman

 

Secret experiment, unstoppable monster, deadly mistake…

 

After an explosion at a secret laboratory, a super intelligent golden retriever gets out and runs for freedom. A hideous creature called OXCOM (Outside Experimental Combat Mammal) is after him and will not stop before he kills the retriever.

The retriever finds shelter with the young Travis Cornell, who after being impressed by the dog brings him home to his house. Travis and his mother starts to communicate with the dog and finds out that he is not your average golden retriever. They also soon find themselves in danger from the murdering creature and also two NSO agents who are all after this special dog.

Watchers is based on the Dean Koontz novel with the same name. I read that novel when I was young and can’t remember much of it, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s a very loose adaptation from the book.

This is basically a teenage horror film that is well balanced, making it neither gory or silly but fun for people of all ages. I kind of miss that from todays horror films, there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of horror films out there these days for teenagers that aren’t focused on romance or comedy. That is not to say that there isn’t romance or silliness in Watchers though, but it never becomes to main focus.

The main part of this film deals with the relationship between Travis and the golden retriever that he named Furface and it works. Corey Haim is in his best days during the filming of this film and it shows. He is charming and a good representation of what type of kid people thought was cool at that time. They do get a little silly with the intelligence of the dog when they have it breaking into Travis school and starts typing on a computer with a pencil though, but some stuff like that is to be expected I guess.

The best part about them having such a cute relationship is that it makes you automatically care about them and hope they manage to keep safe when the creature comes after them. The creature is some sort of hairy mutated animal gone wrong. He isn’t shown clearly in the film, but is kept unseen for most parts and that’s just aswell in my opinion. Actually, the biggest threat in the film is Michael Ironside as one of the NSO agents. Ironside is always fun to watch and when you put him against a little teenager and a dog, he easily becomes a great and intense villain.

I do think that they could have found another one to play Travis’s mother instead of Barbara Williams. She looked almost careless during the film and I didn’t care much for her. Watchers is directed by Jon Hess, who seemed to keep himself in the horror/sci-fi genre for several more movies, none of which I have heard of except Alligator 2: The Mutation though.

Watchers might be a cute teen horror film, but that doesn’t mean that it is a bad film. I find it very enjoyable and think that it is a movie that can be rewatched again after a few years. Watchers also produced three more sequels, none of which I have seen as of today but I wouldn’t be surprised if reviews of them also turn up shortly after this one.

 

 ★★★½☆ 

 

2 comments

  1. Doug Roos

    Ironside is so good in this. The monster looks pretty crappy when they show it at the end, but I still enjoyed watching it. Damn, I miss the ’80s.

  2. Cinema Terror

    I agree with you. There was just something very creative and “fantastique” about the 80’s, and I don’t think it is just the nostalgic factor that makes us feel that way although it surely does help.

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