Projections - Movie Reviews

The Watcher The Watcher

Keanu Reeves plays David Griffin, a Los Angeles serial killer who stalks women.  He follows these young women who live alone, watches their habits and schedules, before catching and strangling them.

F.B.I. agent Joel Campbell (James Spader) is in charge of the investigation until his girlfriend dies, and he moves to Chicago to escape the case that had taken over his life.

Campbell is a broken and sick man who lives in a dirty walk up.  He pops pills in order to sleep and injects himself with strong medication to deal with incapacitation migraines.  He's given up and only leaves his apartment to eat or attend weekly counseling sessions with his psychologist (Marisa Tomei).

Griffin, who feels a strange connection to Campbell, also moves to Chicago and begins to kill women and send pictures of his victims to Campbell's home.  The cat and mouse game takes another direction when Griffin sends a picture of a young blond who is alive.  But she will be dead at 9:00 P.M. according to the killer's message.  That act sends Campbell back into action, and   action abounds as the police set out to discover who this girl is and attempt to save her before it's too late.

Helicopters search the city and detectives go on busy streets with copies of her picture, hoping that someone will recognize her.  All the while, the deadline moves closer making for exciting stuff.

A good cast has Ernie Hudson as the Police Chief and an energetic homicide detective (Chris Ellis) playing nicely off Spader's low key, tense character.

Spader is so soft spoken, I found myself leaning forward to catch his every word.  He's an interesting actor who takes varied roles; this one is a troubled anti hero.  His scenes with Tomei are effective as she delves into the strange connection between the two men.

It's unusual for the identity of the murderer to be exposed early in a film, but it works, and Reeves deserves credit for taking on the role of a sadistic killer.

The Watcher is a well acted, well thought out, involving suspense thriller.

The Watcher