CNY Screenwriter’s New Film “Watcher” Picked Up By IFC Films, Shudder

IFC Films and Shudder have purchased the North American rights to NYC-based screenwriter Zack Ford’s new film, “Watcher,” after its premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

Variety reports that IFC Midnight, the company’s genre division, plans to release the film in theaters and on VOD, starting with Shudder, a streaming service that primarily focuses on horror films. A release date has not yet been set.

“Watcher” is a psychological thriller centered on a young woman, Julia (“It Follows” star Maika Monroe), who moves into a new apartment in Bucharest with her fiancé (Karl Glusman). She feels isolated and tormented by the feeling of being stalked by an unseen figure (Burn Gorman) in an adjacent building amid a city-wide panic over a possible serial killer known as name of The Spider.

Ford, a 2001 Skaneateles High School graduate, wrote the screenplay, which first gained attention when it was featured on the Blood List, an annual list of notable and unremarkable horror thrillers and screenplays. similar products blacklisted Hollywood, in 2016. His previous credits include the 2007 horror film “Scar” and the 2009 independent film “Girls’ Night Out”.

According to the Associated Press, “Watcher” director Chloe Okuno refined the script to ensure that the main character, Julia, felt true to her own experiences as a woman. Okuno also changed the setting for Bucharest when Romania was chosen for the filming location and decided to cast Julia as an expat who doesn’t know the language, which would add an extra layer of alienation and paranoia to the filming. story.

“Chloe Okuno’s exceptional vision utilizes elements of horror and thriller in a masterful way that will resonate with anyone looking for a singular cinematic experience, further emboldened by a star-studded performance from Maika Monroe,” said Arianna Bocco, President of IFC Films, IFC Films. in a report. “We are honored to bring Chloe’s stunning feature debut, ‘Watcher,’ to audiences across North America, announcing her as a director to watch.”

“Watcher” premiered at Sundance on January 21, drawing strong reviews with comparisons to Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window”, Roman Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby” and even “Lost in Translation” – “but with the character of Bill Murray replaced by a potential psychopath,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“In fact, there are plenty of other suspense classics hailed within the film’s 95-minute runtime,” Deadline wrote. “Yet ‘Watcher’ is largely its own creation, a sustained package that delivers on so many fronts – directing, cinematography, production design, music, performance – that what could so easily have been a stereotypical slasher, pushes back truly the limits of its genre, playing with an unusual gloom that will keep audiences guessing until the end.

This provided photo shows Skaneateles screenwriter Zack Ford.

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