Well, okay – new as in this thing is finally in limited release (it was made last year). Being a fan of Lynch’s last film Boxing Helena (1993, making Surveillance her first film in 15 years), I’ve been waiting for this thing to come out for so long that I forgot she directed it until I pressed play and saw the opening credits, then realized I’m an idiot.
The June 26th limited release date for Surveillance did not include any theaters in Seattle, but if you have Comcast, you can queue it up On Demand now for $6.99 in HD – which is exactly what I did on Saturday night.
Keep an open mind as you watch the credits roll: I was sold on Bill Pullman & even Julia Ormond (and I may have cheered when I saw Michael Ironside’s name), but I did raise my eyebrow at the thought of French Stewart & Cheri Oteri cast in a horror/thriller. Really? Fortunately, everything worked out. I might even go so far as to say that the casting made the movie.
Jennifer borrows some themes (i.e. small towns are scary, and everybody has a secret) and imagery from her dad – but not so much that I’d call it a rip-off. She has her own style and it works well for this story. FBI Agents Anderson (Ormond) and Hallaway (Pullman) arrive at a small town Sherriff’s station to investigate a series of murders. After a hotel massacre, a pair of masked killers takes out 6 more people on the road (including a cop), leaving 3 witnesses for the Agents to question.
Enter Anderson and his camera/monitor set-up, with which to observe (thus the title) the questioning of a young junkie, a grieving, hot-head cop and a scarred but stoic little girl. As each story gets told, it becomes clear that everyone’s hiding something – but Hallaway is determined to find out the truth.
I know, I know – it sounds like pretty standard stuff. But there’s a lot about this that’s entertaining and great to watch. The murders are filmed in a pretty brutal way, and I enjoyed watching Pullman & Ormond play off each other – who’d have thought those two would pair up well?
I recommend if you’re curious, but I have to warn you: if you go looking around the Internet for facts on this one, you might find something that will spoil the whole movie. Search cautiously!
Now I’m going to spend my time waiting for her 3rd film, Hisss, to come out. 🙂