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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Enchanted Forest

The Watchers on IMDb

Plot Overview


Young Mina (Hannah Dargan) is misbehaving in the car, not following the rules. To spite her mother (Siobhan Hewlett) she lowers the window in the back to blast her with cold air. Her mom auto-raises it, but Mina puts her hands through the opening to stop it. Her fingers get caught and she screams. When her mom turns around, they collide head-on with a truck, killing the mom and throwing Mina and her sister Lucy (Emily Dargan) clear. Mina blames herself.

leprechaunThe movie starts in medias res fifteen years later. Lucy has her own family now while 28-year-old Mina (Dakota Fanning) is single and a strug­gling artiste. She travels to Ireland where income tax for artists is waived and takes a job in a pet shop to defray expenses. Despite her challenges with unfamiliar roads, she agrees to trans­port a golden parrot to a zoo. The night before starting out, she dons a brown wig—she wants an identity separate from her family of blonds—and goes carousing. The next day on the road she gets lost in the woods.

A wise woman Madeline (Olwen Fouéré) finds her and leads her to a bunker called the coup where they must hunker down at night from the malicious watchers who observe them through the window. An enigmatic professor had constructed the shelter and connected it to a power source. In residence is Daniel (Oliver Finnegan) their handy­man who maintains it and traps small animals for food. Also there's Ciara (Georgina Campbell) whose husband John (Alistair Brammer) tried to escape the entangling woods and never returned.

There's a small set of rules that must be adhered to or risk death. Every­one must be inside at night, and they must never turn their backs on the window while the watchers are present. You don't have to be Sigmund Freud to see the connection between these rules and those earlier ones: Keep your hands in the car and your eyes on the road. Duh.

canoe tripwinged fairyMethodology is importantThey discover an oubliette in which are found Professor Roy Kimmel's digital notes on the creatures he came here to study. His field was folk­lore, but in Ireland folk­lore is real. The elusive creatures were fallen fairies who were watching them to learn how to pass as humans. Good luck on the height issue. There was also an escape plan involving a boat.


eye trimMina, it seems, had fallen afoul of, (Prov. 30:17) “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.” She had despised to obey her mother and been trans­ported on a bird errand to a dangerous forest where John gets mutilated and a bicycle trashed. Were it not for Madeline's inter­vention, she would have been, too. Instead, she ends up in involuntary servitude performing for an unseen audience as were the actors on “The Lair” the one program their decrepid telly receives. There's a parity of eye loss and servitude given in (Exodus 21:26) “And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.” Mina got extra chores instead of corporal punishment.

Lest we feel superior for getting our fairy tale lessons in books rather than in the flesh, we should consider another escape by boat that might even be real. (Gen. 9:18-19) “And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.”

drunken Noah and his three sons

The licensor's alternate image text explains Noah, “When he drank some of the wine, he got drunk and uncovered him­self inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness and told his two brothers who were outside. Shem and Japheth took a garment and placed it on their shoulders. Then they walked in back­wards and covered up their father's nakedness. Their faces were turned the other way so they did not see their father's nakedness (Genesis 9:21-23).”

Ham mocked his father to his brothers. He and his line—represented by Canaan in his lineage—would be given servitude rather than mutilation. (Gen. 9:24-27) “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son [Ham] had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” When Noah woke up, he blessed as a pair the lines of his two respectful sons and cursed Ham's line—pairing Ham with his youngest son Canaan as was Noah's wont to go by twos—giving them servitude to his other two sons'. (Jasher 73:35) “For the Lord our God gave Ham the son of Noah, and his children and all his seed, as slaves to the children of Shem and to the children of Japheth, and unto their seed after them for slaves, forever.”

corporal punishmentMore germane to modern times is perhaps the lineage of Cush, Ham's oldest son (Gen. 10:6,) Cush meaning black in Hebrew, having settled in Africa, some of his to become slaves in later years. Researcher Bodie Hodge confirms that, “As a general trend, Ham is the father of many peoples in Africa” (122). Dr. Ide adds, “Ham sired four sons: Cush (translates as ‘black’) … and Canaan the youngest” (62).

Production Values

” (2024) was written and directed by Ishana Night Shyamalan, daughter of the iconic M. Night Shyamalan. The script was based on the novel, The Watchers, by A.M. Shine. It stars Dakota Fanning, Georgina Campbell and Olwen Fouéré. The cast gave stand-up performances. Fanning performed a memorable role. Campbell and Fouéré played their parts well.

MPA rated it PG–13 for violence, terror and some thematic elements. It was filmed on location in lush Ireland. The cinema­tog­raphy was exceptional capturing a gloomy atmosphere in situ. The soundtrack rendering of traditional Irish bagpipes was effective for the story. The editing is efficient, with a well-placed sprinkling of jump scares. Runtime is 1¾ hours.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

“The Watchers” is a serviceable film that integrates horror with fantasy. Some of our fantastic Bible stories also contain elements of the horrific, so Christians should be a little prepared. Despite the writer/director's father's seasoned experience, hers strikes me as but a beginning effort, good as far as it goes. What you see is what you get.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769, 1873. Print. Software.

Drunken Noah scene depicted in a Civil War vintage wood­cut, made after a drawing by Julius Schnorr von Carols­feld (German painter, 1794–1872) from his archive, published in 1877, and more recently by iStock.com/Getty Images. Used under license.

The Book of Jasher. Trans­lated from the Hebrew into English (1840). Photo litho­graphic reprint of exact edition published by J.H. Parry & Co., Salt Lake City: 1887. Muskogee, OK: Artisan Pub., 1988. Print, Web.

Hodge, Bodie. Tower of Babel: The Cultural History of Our Ancestors. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Pub., 2013. Print.

Ide, Arthur Frederick. Noah & the Ark: The Influence of Sex, Homo­phobia and Hetero­sexism in the Flood Story and its Writing. Las Colinas: Monument Press, 1992. Print.