Horror / Mystery / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 33%
IMDb Rating 4.6 10 682


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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June 13, 2018 at 01:18 PM


John Jarratt as Snitch
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731.23 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 30 min
P/S 19 / 80
1.38 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 30 min
P/S 20 / 78

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by euroGary 5 / 10

Decent plot let down by pretentiousness

"When I first saw this film", said the London Film Festival luminary who introduced it, "I was haunted by it for weeks". I can't say I had the same reaction: I was mildly annoyed for a few minutes, perhaps.

The plot is actually pretty decent: Parker, a surveillance operative, is hired to spy on a young woman. He moves into a dilapidated building opposite her flat, from where he takes pictures and listens in on her telephone conversations. But strange things are happening in his building: the shower water suddenly runs scalding hot, blocked-up windows mysteriously unblock, and there's a jar full of an ever-increasing amount of black liquid in the corner. All this - plus strange visions of his deceased young son - seems to be having an effect on Parker's health...

But the film has the feel of a student project that somehow metamorphosed into a full-length production. It's very arty-farty - the washed-out shots of isolated clifftops had me expecting to see Death with a chess board at any moment. No effort is made to explain many happenings - such as the bear's head, or the faceless woman, or that jar of black liquid - giving the impression the producers thought they'd be really cool things to put on screen but couldn't be bothered to work out why they should be there. And that's before we consider the mistakes: the energetic sex scene where Parker is obviously still wearing his underpants, and the woman supposedly just stepped out of a shower who is, in fact, bone dry. But in the scenes where Parker is roaming around his claustrophobic house, the film-makers have unquestionably successfully created a dark and threatening atmosphere, and some the close-up camera-work of, for example, carpet threads or drops of blood is pretty good.

In the lead role, Lindsay Farris is a near-constant presence on screen; as such it's fortunate that he's easy on the eye, nicely filling his white T-shirt and black jeans. But there are too many shots of him leaping backwards in surprise, and his American accent wavers all over several States (and becomes Irish at one point). In fact, although the cast is largely Australian - and this is an Australian film - they all use American accents - an emerging trend in Australian cinema? (see also 'Infini').

I like to end reviews on a good note, so here's one: when Parker awakens from a nightmare, does he do the usual thing of sitting bolt upright in bed, panting heavily? No he does not! His eyes snap open in surprise, but he stays laying down. A definite plus point in the film's favour - some film clichés really should be laid to rest.

Reviewed by chicagopoetry 4 / 10

Your Guess is as Good as Mine

Observance starts out promising, making you think it's going to be some type of Rear Window, Body Double, Blow-Up or Blow Out type of suspense mystery. Instead, about halfway through, it turns into a confusing, "plotless" experiment in body horror and dream imagery. This is when the minutes start going by ever so slowly as, if you're like me, you start moaning and groaning, wishing something would happen already, wishing some plot would develop, wishing something would be explained or at least make a lick of sense. About two thirds through, if you're like me, you'll start looking at your watch wondering if you should even bother continuing; but you'll hang in there because the camera work is awfully nifty, the music is haunting, the lighting is creepy and there are a handful of jump scares after all. Then the credits will roll and, if you're like me, you'll shrug your shoulders and ask yourself, "What the heck was that?"

Reviewed by eddie_baggins 7 / 10

An effective slow-burn that will crawl under your skin

Filmed on the director's credit card over an 11 day period during the hottest heatwave on record in Sydney Australia, Observance is certainly a film that defies its beginnings and conception to showcase an impressively dread laden tale that displays a palpable sense of terror of malevolence from the first frame through to its last confronting and shocking finale.

Director Joseph Sims-Dennett crafts his second feature length film in a manner that is not dissimilar to films such as Rear Window (the spying and voyeurism), Ti West's The House of the Devil (pacing and incoming sense of evil) and even Ben Wheatley's Kill List (in the way it culminates into an uncompromising crescendo) and despite being largely confined to a rundown apartment building for a majority of its runtime, Observance never lets its tight confines strangle its atmospheric nature and intriguing plot that covers loss, mental health and a seriously bad fever.

On face value Sims-Dennett and co-writer Josh Zammit's story may seem slight, grieving man accepts job that involves watching pretty women for a mysterious client, but like a large portion of other successful psychological and slow burning horrors, Observance draws the audience in only to confront them with some terrifying scenarios that are delivered in low key ways to make them that much more effective.

The major drawback of Sims-Dennett's fine work however is the fact he hides the films heritage as an Australian film by having his cast led by the committed Lindsay Farris as tortured soul Parker speak in American accents, which so often is the case when local films try for this, distracts from some of the films tense moments, never more so highlighted by local industry vet and Mick Taylor himself John Jarrett's brief cameo around the midpoint of the film. It would've been great to see Sims-Dennett embrace the films origins (even at the cost of appealing to overseas audiences) but it still doesn't deter from the fact this is one of the most impressive low budget Australian offerings of the decade.

Observance acts as a finely tuned calling card for Sims-Dennett who could quickly become one of Australia's newest directing white knights and there's little doubt that Hollywood will come calling to a filmmaker that has both the determination and skill to pull off tricky subject matters and while Observance may waver slightly in certain elements and executions, its often downright masterful in the way it delivers its chills and Horror aficionados alongside Australian cinema fans would do well to seek it out.

3 ½ ominous jars out of 5

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