FILM STARS MAIKA MONROE (IT FOLLOWS), KARL GLUSMAN AND BURN GORMAN
NEW YORK, NY (January 30, 2022) – IFC Midnight announced today that they are acquiring North American rights to WATCHER from director Chloe Okuno (Shudder’s V/H/S/94, SLUT) starring Maika Monroe (IT FOLLOWS, GRETA), Karl Glusman (LOVE) and Burn Gorman (TORCHWOOD). Okuno co-wrote the film with Zach Ford and the film is the inaugural film produced in a new genre pact between Image Nation and Spooky Pictures, in association with Lost City. Producers are Roy Lee and Steven Schneider of Spooky Pictures, Derek Dauchy, Mason Novick, John Finemore, Aaron Kaplan and Sean Perrone. Executive producers are James Hoppe, Elizabeth Grave, Ben Ross, Rami Yasin, Gabi Antal. WATCHER made its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and IFC Midnight will release the film in theaters and on VOD in 2022 with Shudder taking the first streaming window.
In WATCHER, Julia (Maika Monroe) joins her husband when he relocates to his family’s native Romania for a new job. Having recently abandoned her acting career, 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 theater, Julia’s sense of being watched intensifies, and she becomes certain she’s being followed — could it be the same unknown neighbor? Meanwhile, a serial killer known as The Spider stalks the city.
Arianna Bocco, President of IFC Films said, “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 honored to introduce Chloe’s stunning feature debut WATCHER to audiences across North America, announcing her as a director to watch.”
Director Chloe Okuno added, “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.”
Craig Engler, GM for Shudder added, “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.”
In a review for Roger Ebert, Brian Tallerico praised Okuno’s direction, “Sleek and effective, WATCHER is an old-fashioned thriller with a modern heartbeat, an announcement of Okuno as a major talent to watch.” Reviewing for Variety, Jessica Kiang further comments on the timely undercurrent of the film, “WATCHER, if it has an agenda beyond being a fun, shivery, fish-out-of-water chiller, is not so much a manifesto to Believe All Women as it is a reminder to all women watching to at least believe ourselves.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films’ Head of Acquisitions and Production Scott Shooman with UTA Independent Film Group and Cinetic on behalf of the filmmakers.
IFC Midnight is home to some of the most exciting new voices in genre film of the last decade, including Natalie Erika James’ RELIC, Dave Franco’s THE RENTAL, Jennifer Kent’s THE BABADOOK, Carlo Mirabella Davis’ SWALLOW, and the latest film from Peter Strickland premiering at the upcoming Berlinale, FLUX GOURMET. IFC Midnight is also representing the critically acclaimed Finnish horror film HATCHING at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, directed by first-timer Hanna Bergholm – currently 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.
ABOUT IFC MIDNIGHT
Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of independent film. Its unique distribution model makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them in theaters as well as on digital and cable’s Video On Demand (VOD) platform, reaching nearly 50 million homes.
Upcoming releases include Ruth Paxton’s A BANQUET, Hannah Bergholm’s Sundance critical hit HATCHING, and Eskil Vogt’s THE INNOCENTS. Some of the company’s successes have included Andy Nyman’s critical darling GHOST STORIES, André Øvredal’s box-office success THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE, Peter Strickland’s modern giallo BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO, Natalie Erika James’ RELIC, SWALLOW from Carlo Mirabella Davis and the award-winning and cultural phenomenon THE BABADOOK. IFC Midnight is a sister label to IFC Films, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.
AMC Networks’ Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving members with the best selection in genre entertainment, covering horror, thrillers and the supernatural. Shudder’s expanding library of film, TV series, and originals is available on most streaming devices in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. For a 7-day, risk-free trial, visit www.shudder.com.