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A Horror Gem That Gave New Life to a Stale Format Leers on Streaming

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via XYZ Films

Even the most hardened and scare-hungry of horror fans are well within their rights to roll their eyes should they happen upon yet another found footage terror, but last year’s He’s Watching ended up delivering a breath of fresh air into the lungs of a gimmick that had long since grown beyond stale.

They say that limitations breed creativity, which certainly proved to be the case for writer and director Jacob Aaron Estes, who used what little resources he had at his disposal to craft a haunting fresh spin on some tired and familiar tropes that ended up being bestowed with a remarkable 90 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes – virtually unheard of for modern-day found footage.

he's-watching
via XYZ Films

Real-life siblings – and children of the director – Iris and Lucas Steel Estes play characters named after themselves, who are left to their own devices when their parents are recovering from illness. Opting to do what kids do and play pranks on each other, things take a turn for the supernatural when they discover a sinister and malevolent presence has been watching them, and it wants to get in on the act.

Naturally, the shaky-cam aesthetic isn’t going to win over any new converts, but He’s Watching nonetheless deserves praise for doing the absolute maximum with the bare minimum, a rarity when found footage is always far too happy to lean into what’s been established as the subgenre’s standard tricks for well over a decade and change.

As a result, the underrated and unsung gem has been catapulted to streaming success, with FlixPatrol naming He’s Watching as one of the Top 10 most-watched featured on ad-supported platform Freevee this weekend, so subscribers are all-in on giving it a chance.




he's-watching

via XYZ Films

Even the most hardened and scare-hungry of horror fans are well within their rights to roll their eyes should they happen upon yet another found footage terror, but last year’s He’s Watching ended up delivering a breath of fresh air into the lungs of a gimmick that had long since grown beyond stale.

They say that limitations breed creativity, which certainly proved to be the case for writer and director Jacob Aaron Estes, who used what little resources he had at his disposal to craft a haunting fresh spin on some tired and familiar tropes that ended up being bestowed with a remarkable 90 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes – virtually unheard of for modern-day found footage.

he's-watching
via XYZ Films

Real-life siblings – and children of the director – Iris and Lucas Steel Estes play characters named after themselves, who are left to their own devices when their parents are recovering from illness. Opting to do what kids do and play pranks on each other, things take a turn for the supernatural when they discover a sinister and malevolent presence has been watching them, and it wants to get in on the act.

Naturally, the shaky-cam aesthetic isn’t going to win over any new converts, but He’s Watching nonetheless deserves praise for doing the absolute maximum with the bare minimum, a rarity when found footage is always far too happy to lean into what’s been established as the subgenre’s standard tricks for well over a decade and change.

As a result, the underrated and unsung gem has been catapulted to streaming success, with FlixPatrol naming He’s Watching as one of the Top 10 most-watched featured on ad-supported platform Freevee this weekend, so subscribers are all-in on giving it a chance.

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