The festival circuit can be hit or miss when it comes to finding interesting new fare. There’s one that’s been making some rumbles throughout various festivals lately, including The Independent Horror Movie Awards and the Horrorhound Weekend Film Festival: Who’s Watching Oliver. The plot sounds pretty solid: a mentally unstable young man named Oliver (Russell Geoffrey Banks) in a twisted relationship with his mother kills young women, and begins a strange relationship with a woman named Sophia (Sara Malakul Lane). Here’s the trailer.
I’m not sure what to think based on this trailer. It seems a bit exploitative of the mentally unstable based on the trailer alone, and I greatly dislike the notion that mental illness implies that someone is going to start automatically killing without remorse or restraint. However, this is where the beauty of the internet comes in: there’s been an amazing amount of praise for Richie Moore’s script and direction, as well as the performances of his lead actors. Advance screenings of this film have all stated that the film lends a powerful, sympathetic quality to the characters, tackling mental illness, mommy issues, extreme abuse, humiliation, and the need for relationships. All this mixed in with a smattering of gore. I think that earns it a shot.