The Eyes On me: Confronting Stalkers
Zane Van Cleave’s stalker thriller The Eyes On Me has little meat to it: the film settles for only introducing its broad plot points and leaving it at that. It tries to pack in a lot within a limited runtime, ending up with scenes that belong in a longer story and that, here, feel utterly disconnected.
The stalker here is a young man, Tom (Brandon Box) and the stalkee, Jenny (Tara Davis). The film introduces Jenny, alone at home after a bad date, her nightcap interrupted by texts from Tom, desperate and angry at her for seeing other men. Soon he is at her door, and things quickly turn violent. The climax is an improvement in terms of filmmaking. It is just quiet enough and tense enough to have an impact while things are ongoing. Visually too, the climax is better than the rest of the film, which features an inconsistent visual tone – some of it is great while others not so much. Perhaps the worst offender is how the film shows texts. The aim to put the threat in sharp focus is clear and smart, but its execution is amateur at best.
Box has little to do besides broad physical actions and to that end, he suffices, meaning he is basically a wallflower in a main cast of two. Davis suffers from under-direction and overall stiffness when the plot starts building momentum.
Cleave’s intent to distill the story down to its most effective elements does not work in the film’s favour due in main part to a weak plot and screenplay, and bogged further down by stylistic cinematography that lacks necessary skill. What does work for it is saved for the end: something for the audience to take away instead of overall wonky filmmaking.
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