New Release Horror - Observance - Reviewed

Artsploitation's Observance.  They Are Watching.

This is an excellent example of how a low-budget Australian movie, produced on a credit card balance of $10,000, can outclass the more largely financed suspense and horror motion pictures. The story involves a man who has gone through some serious personal loss going back into working as a private investigator, watching a woman for reasons unbeknownst to him. Strange things begin to occur which question whether such things are actually happening to him, or if  his isolation and paranoia are causing him to lose control.

Too much black oil. Stay away X-Files. 

The film mixes elements that are similar to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Roman Polanski’s The Tenant and Repulsion, as well as The Ring and The Shining.  It definitely will have a certain niche audience, one that is interested in an art house feature that mixes psychological horror with beautiful picture quality. There are many striking scenic shots that are specifically used as surrealistic dream sequences. There is virtually no score; instead, the film relies on the use of natural sounds in order to add to the mood and create scares. The production quality is excellent, especially considering the small amount of money that was used to get this put together.

The cinematographer was Rodrigo Vidal Dawson and he did an exceptional job on this. He has a large amount of experience on shorts, as well as working on Bride of Chucky and the television series Farscape. The acting is well done, with the main focus on the lead character, played by Lindsay Farris. His level of self-destruction is similar to –  but not quite as extreme a performance as – Jack Nicholson’s was in The Shining.

artsploitation films
Yeah, someone broke in and taped all this crap
to the wall. WTF?
Some people may find this film to be rather pretentious and confusing. Part of this could be due to the low budget and a kind of madness in the filmmaking. In an interview with Any Camera Will Do, the director stated that the shoot time was just eleven days and that there wasn’t a completed script at the time [1]. He said that there were issues with shooting time, finances, incomplete sets, and extreme temperatures. There was also no first assistant director to set up a schedule, and he felt that the onset delirium added to the overall tone [1]. Depending on viewpoint after watching this, one mightl either think that it hurt or helped in setting a certain psychosis into this feature.

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with what was created with such a small amount of funding and so much time restriction. There are so many creepy scenes in this that easily outdo the more largely budgeted American horror pictures that are being shoved down our throats. This is one that should be given a chance.

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-Raul VanTassle

Works Cited

"Youtube," Youtube, 9 5 2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 9 5 2016].