This movie is fine.
So many critics, myself included, have the tendency to play up love or hatred of a piece for a more dramatic review. I love tearing down the occasional piece of media, or doing some hype work, but it’s also important to normalize admitting that some movies are just okay.
I’ll Be Watching was ambitious past its ability to execute. There are glimmers of fascinating concepts that never reach fruition. There are a couple fresh moments in otherwise well-worn tropes and themes. It had a lot of potential, but ultimately wasn’t bold enough to reach it.
This is something that is very common in this era of “technological paranoia” horror. It’s a complaint that I have about many similar films going back to the 2019 Child’s Play remake and coming up again as recently as M3gan. Even as the possibilities of technological advancements gone wrong feel limitless and new, storytellers seem far too bound to familiar territory.
The actual plot points of I’ll Be Watching were fantastic in places, but overall felt unfocused and meandering. It made the red herring easier to see through and the “twist” of the film almost laughably predictable. Even though I liked the story and the different elements that were incorporated, my enjoyment was reigned in by the project’s lack of polish overall.
But was it terrible? No.
In fact, I’ll Be Watching did some things very well. I liked the setting, it had good sound design, and the original art for the movie was stunning. I think if you’re someone who is itching for more technological horror, this might well scratch that itch. And if your favorite classic tropes involve isolation horror or the gaslighting spouse, you might genuinely love this.
I was not impressed by this particular offering, but it played with a lot of concepts that I would like to see explored further, and I would definitely be open to watching more movies from the people involved.