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The Independent Critic

Directed by
Sy Cody White
Written by
Sy Cody White, Jeff Moffitt
Starring
Jeff Moffitt, Timothy J. Cox, Peter Francis Span, Kathleen Boddington
Running Time
28 Mins.

 "The Watchers" Review 
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John Porter (Jeff Moffitt) is an accountant whose ordinary, methodical life is thrown into disarray when he begins to "notice" that he's being followed everywhere he goes by sullen, shadowy figures while he tries desperately to reach a mysterious woman named Marcie.

Over the course of the film's 28-minute run time, co-writer and director Sy Cody White builds the tension as it seems each of Porter's subsequent human interactions increases with its menace and intensity. When he finally seeks help from a therapist, Dr. Orwell (Timothy J. Cox), an unexpected result only magnifies Porter's paranoia. Just when it appears he may be traveling down a paranoid abyss, Porter learns that just because he's paranoid it doesn't mean that they're not after him.

Director White takes a familiar New York locale and heightens its already inherent drama, a big city that at times seems to be swallowing up Porter and his increasingly fractured mind. White also serves as D.P. for the film, and fills the screen with larger than life imagery that transcends any notion that this is a low-budget short. Calling The Watchers a tip of the hat to Hitchcock seems a bit too obvious and perhaps even an insult to the film maker, whose style may bring to mind the psychological thrills and paranoia often found in Hitchcock's films but whose imagery and sense of atmosphere excels on its own.

Jeff Moffitt excels as Porter, building a powerful image of his fractured psyche' in a way that never reveals too much and avoids unnecessary histrionics. Everything from Moffitt's body language to his vocal work embody a man whose grasp of reality is either slipping away or simply already gone. Timothy J. Cox, Kathleen Boddington and Peter Francis Span are solid supporting players, complementing Porter's paranoia with a quiet intensity that constantly keeps you guessing just how The Watchers is going to wind down.

Currently on the film festival circuit, The Watchers should prove to be a popular addition to the thriller/horror short genre and serves notice that Jeff Moffitt is an actor to watch in the future.
    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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