Deadline is exclusively reporting that IFC Midnight is closing a deal to acquire the North American rights for the thriller Watcher, which they will distribute while Shudder have a deal to stream the film after its initial cinematic release.
The official synopsis for the film is as follows:
When Julia hangs up her acting aspirations to join her husband when he relocates to his family’s native Romania for a new job she finds herself frequently alone and unoccupied. One night, people-watching from her picture window, she spots a vague figure in an adjacent building, who seems to be looking back at her. Soon after, while alone at a local movie theatre, Julia’s sense of being watched intensifies, and she becomes certain she’s being followed – could it be the same unknown neighbour? Meanwhile, a serial killer known as The Spider stalks the city.
Chloe Okuno, who directed the film, released a statement saying:
It was a hard-fought battle to make Watcher during the pandemic, and I’m so proud of everyone who worked to get us to this point. I am beyond delighted to partner with IFC Midnight and Shudder to continue this journey together and cannot wait to share the movie with a wider audience.
IFC President, Arianna Bocco, also released a statement saying:
Chloe Okuno’s exceptional vision uses horror and thriller elements in a masterful way that will resonate with any person looking for a singular cinematic experience, even further emboldened by a star-turning performance from Maika Monroe. We’re honoured to introduce Chloe’s stunning feature debut Watcher to audiences across North America, announcing her as a director to watch.
Shudder GM, Craig Engler, released a statement adding:
We’ve been huge fans of Chloe Okuno’s since her short film days and were lucky to have her direct one of the most popular segments of our hit movie V/H/S/94, which premiered to record numbers last year. We’re delighted to be working with her again on Watcher, which is a brilliant and tense film with a breakout performance from Maika Monroe, and we can’t wait for Shudder members to see it.
The film had its world premiere in the US Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival over a week ago. As well as directing, Okuno co-wrote the screenplay with Zack Ford, with the film produced by Roy Lee and Steven Schneider (Spooky Pictures), Derek Dauchy, John Finemore, Aaron Kaplan, Mason Novick and Sean Perrone. Gabi Antal, James Hoppe, Stuart Manashil and Rami Yasin executive produced.
Watcher stars Maika Monroe, Karl Glusman, Burn Gorman, Madalina Anea, Daniel Nuta and Cristina Deleanu.