She Watches Blindly Image

She Watches Blindly

By Alan Ng | June 29, 2024

At some point in our lives, we probably dream about having superpowers…super-strength, flying abilities, force push. In our minds, having powers would be cool, but when you really think about it, is it a curse? Bryan Tan’s thriller She Watches Blindly explores this idea. Beth Abrams (Emily Dunlop) believes she has the ability to hear people’s thoughts. She’s had this ability for a long time, but since the birth of her child, her powers have increased to debilitating levels.

Since the birth of her daughter, Maddie, Beth has been bedridden due to depression and trauma caused by the steady stream of voices. With Beth out of action, this has left her husband, Earl (Justin Torrence), to take care of infant Maddie, the house, and maintain a job to the point of severe burnout.

Beth’s problem is so bad that just as she and Earl are about to go on a desperately needed vacation with their close friends, James (Shaun MacLean) and Anna (Kate Kovach), merely driving by a few blocks from home causes Beth to be overwhelmed by her neighbors’ thoughts.

When they return home, Beth mysteriously sees a vision of a phone number, and she scratches the number into her nightstand. The number fortuitously belongs to Dr. Abbott (Rick Andosca), who believes he can help.

“…since the birth of her child, her powers have increased to debilitating levels.”

One thing I noticed with She Watches Blindly is that Beth’s story is less of a straightforward narrative than it is unpeeling of a mystery. It’s a style of story unique to indie films and we “unpack” the situation throughout the film. We quickly accept the idea that Beth perceives the thoughts of others, but she is unable to control them. All day, all the time, she hears thoughts, but not all of them are good.

Stories like She Watches Blindly reinforce why independent film is so important. Writer/director Bryan Tan is allowed to take an idea about humanity and expand on it. The story of Beth is not exactly new, but Tan just simply builds on it by showing the reality of the situation. How her powers have worn her down emotionally, but then Tan shows how it affects her husband and their relationship. We also see how it can compromise her moral code.

The story is told from Dr. Abbott’s perspective, who represents the audience. Dr. Abbott isn’t who he claims to be, which provides an interesting way to explain Beth’s ailment. Director Tan creates a unique contrast between the chaotic world of Beth and Earl’s lives and Dr. Abbott’s composed investigation.

She Watches Blindly is a powerful indie film that skillfully brings together a fantastic cast and expertly utilizes sound, music, and visuals to tell this horror/thriller story captivatingly. Bryan Tan’s approach to telling Beth’s tale immerses us in her struggle just as she experiences it.

For screening information, visit the She Watches Blindly official website.

She Watches Blindly (2024)

Directed and Written: Bryan Tan

Starring: Rick Andosca, Emily Dunlop, Justin Torrence, Kate Kovach, Shaun MacLean, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

She Watches Blindly Image

"…Tan is allowed to take an idea about humanity and expand on it."

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