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"Who's Watching Oliver?" Reviews/Discussion - 2020 Horror Challenge

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"Who's Watching Oliver?" Reviews/Discussion - 2020 Horror Challenge

Old 09-30-20, 12:51 AM
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"Who's Watching Oliver?" Reviews/Discussion - 2020 Horror Challenge



Who's Watching Oliver? (2017)


Selected by Undeadcow


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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

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2020 DISCUSSION | 2020 LISTS

Old 10-06-20, 04:50 PM
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Re: "Who's Watching Oliver?" Reviews/Discussion - 2020 Horror Challenge

You might be better off missing the post credit sequence, but there is one.

Who's Watching Oliver is a seemingly dumb film that should not work but somehow does. Having seen it twice I'm still not quite sure what to think of WWO but it's lack of subtlety might be it's biggest strength... but also I think there's more subtext than immediately meets the eye.

"Dry execution of a cartoonish nerdy anti-hero plot sizzles as our lead goes on about mommy issues and gets hammy - but the direction is so straight it works impressively as if American Psycho lampooned nerdy 'Mamma's Boys' instead of Wallstreet with an compelling mix of overacting, gore, sleaze, and psychodrama that is enjoyable but inexplicable. A cartoonish parody that out-gores many slashers and is straight enough to be a knockout." - my first impressions of WWO.

I think there are some 'meta' elements to Oliver - A lot of 'corporate' horror films have hilarious out of wack 'teenagers' that are written as wanton drug heads - not unlike the robotic awkward lines stuttered by Oliver when he was pretending to try to lure the victims (to catch horror victims he is treating them as if they were stereotypical horror victims; shallow cartoonish hedonists). The mom is a bad actress, which really gives a sort of dreamy element (never appearing other than indirectly by videoconference) while the girl at the carnival is so strangely accomodating and into Oliver it's surreal. The webinar mom seems oddly relevent to these times of social distancing, which I think helps highlight some of the subtext about isolation and loneliness. There's a thematic zig zag between gorey parental appeasement and innocent carnival love; even in the mannerisms of Oliver (with the murders he is more humoriously robotic). I'm still not sure the girl in the park is even real (the kiddie train passing behind their bench is so perfectly thematic) and it could also be argued that perhaps the mother is not real. Even if the mom is real she's remote and easily dispatched. The idea of a socially distant parent trying to direct their kid in the wrong ways seems like one ripe with low hanging fruit of social commentary. It takes 'raised by television' to a whole next level portraying the extreme that entertainment/online/tv is driving people to murder/sex/etc. I think it falls just outside of working that Oliver is a 'good boy' by murdering and 'being bad' but a 'bad boy' by falling in 'love' then he will be 'hurt' and 'regret this' (inverting typical norms).

Last edited by Undeadcow; 10-22-20 at 01:58 AM.
Old 10-22-20, 01:46 AM
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Re: "Who's Watching Oliver?" Reviews/Discussion - 2020 Horror Challenge

Well, I think I need a shower. That one made me feel a little icky. The mom element adds a whole other layer of sleaze and creepiness.

Not sure what to make of Sophia. She hinted at some things being off about her, but unless I missed an explanation, we don't really know what her story is. As creepy as Oliver is, it's hard to believe someone like Sophia would attach herself to him. I guess she recognizes another troubled soul. Even still, it ended up playing about how I thought it would. It's basically structured like your standard rom com - but with more blood, rape and killing. The end credits scene did break that mold, though. I sort of imagined that scene was going to be how things ultimately would end up for the two, though off camera. Happily ever after clearly wasn't going to be long for these two.

Last edited by clckworang; 10-29-20 at 03:20 PM.
Old 10-29-20, 02:55 PM
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Re: "Who's Watching Oliver?" Reviews/Discussion - 2020 Horror Challenge

If this wouldn’t have been a subset pick I would have turned it off. I strongly disliked it. I thought the actress who played the mom did a terrible job. I also couldn’t get past the unbelieveabilitt that Sophia would be attracted to Oliver. Even if she’s unstable emotionally or mentally. Couldn’t wait for it to be over.
Old 10-29-20, 05:01 PM
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Re: "Who's Watching Oliver?" Reviews/Discussion - 2020 Horror Challenge

0/10, hopefully I’ll forget every moment of this ‘film’.
Old 10-29-20, 05:06 PM
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Re: "Who's Watching Oliver?" Reviews/Discussion - 2020 Horror Challenge

I gotta say i did not like this one at all. It's not a bad film, but i think meshing upbeat music with scenes of Oliver and then switching to the sadistic kills just didn't work for me. The kill scenes are just too mean spirited to ever allow the light hearted Oliver moments to work.

5/10
Old 10-29-20, 08:15 PM
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Re: "Who's Watching Oliver?" Reviews/Discussion - 2020 Horror Challenge

Almost made me give up the goal of 100% subset. I've never watched the time counter so much, hoping it would soon be over. Cruel, icky, and downright offensive if you stop to think about it too much, so I won't.
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Old 10-29-20, 08:38 PM
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Re: "Who's Watching Oliver?" Reviews/Discussion - 2020 Horror Challenge

Man, it seems like most everyone in horror movies is on some mystery medication lately. This movie has been in my queue for some time, as I saw it on some clickbait horror site list. I didn't really buy into the whirlwind romance, and Im not entirely convinced Sophia wasn't some fractured portion of Oliver. I'm also not sure momma is real, as there was a point during the European prostitute murder, where he was yelling (possibly in the computer's direction), 'You're not real, I killed you'.

I agree the presence of momma really amped up the sleaze factor by about 10.
Old 10-29-20, 08:48 PM
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Re: "Who's Watching Oliver?" Reviews/Discussion - 2020 Horror Challenge

I think this is three films so far this month that I wished I never saw. ‘Worst’ year of the subset on that front for me. In the future, I’ll stop watching them and use the three subset ‘wildcards’ to still count it as complete.
Old 10-29-20, 10:45 PM
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Re: "Who's Watching Oliver?" Reviews/Discussion - 2020 Horror Challenge

Somewhat surprised by the negative reaction to this one; I had thought it was a relatively safe pick with an 86% Rotten Tomatoes score, a 5.5/10 on IMDB (which is not suck level), and seeing it on a few 'best of indie' style lists. I still especially like Who's Watching Oliver no matter what you guys say and usually try to 'curate' subset recommendations so they're not bad.

Spoiler:
That mother though...
Old 10-29-20, 11:35 PM
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Re: "Who's Watching Oliver?" Reviews/Discussion - 2020 Horror Challenge

I could tell from the very angry Amazon reviews that this one might prove to be very divisive.

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
I think this is three films so far this month that I wished I never saw. ‘Worst’ year of the subset on that front for me. In the future, I’ll stop watching them and use the three subset ‘wildcards’ to still count it as complete.
You say that now, but I think we all know that come next year you'll be griping about your OCD compelling you to watch all subset films, including the crossover and all anniversary years.
Old 10-30-20, 01:25 AM
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Re: "Who's Watching Oliver?" Reviews/Discussion - 2020 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Toddarino View Post
If this wouldn’t have been a subset pick I would have turned it off. I strongly disliked it. I thought the actress who played the mom did a terrible job. I also couldn’t get past the unbelieveabilitt that Sophia would be attracted to Oliver. Even if she’s unstable emotionally or mentally. Couldn’t wait for it to be over.
Pretty much what I was going to say. I disliked both Oliver and Mom immensely from frame 1. After the first killing with mom looking in, I really wanted to turn it off. If it hadn't been a subset choice, I would have. Oliver felt like a cruel parody of a mentally challenged person, so I didn't buy Sophia finding anything appealing about him. If there was deeper meaning here, it was lost on me. Sorry guys!
Old 10-30-20, 01:36 AM
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Re: "Who's Watching Oliver?" Reviews/Discussion - 2020 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Undeadcow View Post
Somewhat surprised by the negative reaction to this one; I had thought it was a relatively safe pick with an 86% Rotten Tomatoes score, a 5.5/10 on IMDB (which is not suck level), and seeing it on a few 'best of indie' style lists. I still especially like Who's Watching Oliver no matter what you guys say and usually try to 'curate' subset recommendations so they're not bad.

Spoiler:
That mother though...
You know what they say: one man's meat is another man's poison. It was certainly not the same-old-same old!
Old 10-30-20, 01:40 AM
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Re: "Who's Watching Oliver?" Reviews/Discussion - 2020 Horror Challenge

His mom reminded me of a combination of Juno in Beetlejuice and that old lady Adam Sandler crams in his movies.

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