Who's Watching Oliver

Who's Watching Oliver ★★

Oliver is a troubled man. And that’s something horror films revel in - troubled men; from Psycho to Wolf Creek to The Hitcher, it’s been their bread and butter for some time now.

Who’s Watching Oliver takes this well-worn trope and runs with it, with mixed results.

Oliver’s substantial medication routine at the opening of this film alone gives rise to some serious misgivings, as does his tendency to mumble to himself.

He takes time out to Skype with Mumsy, who enquires after his non-existent love life, before bedding for the night.

The next morning, Oliver is all brylcreemed hair and fussy habits; his fastidious morning ritual gives us a glimpse into his very mannered mind, with the various broken mirrors giving us a further message about his fractured sense of self.

He is thrust into the harsh Thailand marketplace that cradles his stately home like a man out of his own time, the incongruity of the ever-present jaunty jazz soundtrack creating a feeling of oddness.

Later that night, still keeping his own narrative with a steady dialogue with and about himself, he manages to get the fortitude to approach a girl at a local nightclub.

A gormless and literal mouth breather, his intensity and strangeness makes it hard to believe any woman would even consider going home with him, but of course she does, with the promise of “drugs” as a tempter.

The tattooed girl doing lines off his mother's portrait is a little on the nose, but seeing as mother dearest likes to be involved in all aspects of her sick son's violent actions, I guess it’s appropriate.

It seems Oliver is tormented and ‘controlled’ by a mother far worse than Norman’s projected Mrs Bates; Oliver’s mama being a foul-mouthed sadist who seems to be channelling ‘Baby Jane’ in the looks department but is a vicious and cruel psychopath.

Read the rest of Sue Finn's review at The Movie Waffler