Who’s Watching Oliver tells the story of Oliver, a gawky and strange British man with a dark side that is forced upon him by his mother. Oliver and Dear Old Mum have a relationship that makes Norman and Norma Bates’ bond look wholesome. The only hope that Oliver has to break away from her and live a somewhat normal life is the cute and quirky Sophia who takes a liking to Oliver at first sight. Their relationship grows but behind closed doors, Oliver is a monster and Sophia has no idea.
Okay look, I’m going to try to stay away from spoilers as much as possible but there may be some minor ones ahead. So, if you’re concerned about that kind of thing go check out the movie and come back; it’s as dark as good coffee but totally worth watching. If not, let’s dig into this absolute mindfuck of a movie. I mean that in the best way possible, honestly. Things get dark pretty quickly in this movie. You get about ten or fifteen minutes of the single most awkward British man in cinematic history and then, seemingly out of nowhere, there’s a brutal rape and murder. The movie continues on with this pattern for awhile. The gentle and shy demeanor of Oliver and the utter cuteness of his and Sophia’s relationship make the moments of torture goaded on by his mother even more jarring. Remember how I mentioned the relationship between Oliver and his mom? Oliver brings home girls to kill while his mother watches and directs via video call. Somehow that’s the least fucked up part of their dynamic. It’s a crazy, fucked up, gory ride but it’s a ride I’m glad I took.
I get that this movie isn’t for everybody; some people just wouldn’t be able to watch it. I totally get it. That being said, there is something brilliant about Who’s Watching Oliver. The way that the monster his mother forces him to be is juxtaposed against who Oliver really is inside is nothing short of incredible. I watched this guy rape and murder a woman and then dissolve her body in acid and somehow by the end of the film I didn’t just feel for the guy, I was fucking rooting for him! That’s some brilliant goddamn filmmakingright there, man even if it was pretty hard to watch at times.
So yeah, if you’re one of those people who could sit through some pretty dark and brutal shit for some solid filmmaking and a nice payoff I highly recommend Whos Watching Oliver. It’s a little bit of a gut punch, but it’s a shot worth taking.It’s set for US and Canada release on July 3 through Gravitas Ventures so you’ll have to wait awhile but it’ll go well with fireworks.
Review by Bradford
Strap in Buttercup, Who’s Watching Oliver is this week’s one way ticket on the crazy train. Fair warning, if you have any sort of weird, psychosomatic mommy issues, this may not be the film for you. Who’s Watching Oliver is the story of a quiet, unassuming but clearly unhinged young man (Russell Banks) who just wants to make his dear ol’ mom happy. The only trouble is that Oliver’s sweetheart of a mother is a sadistic creature from the bowels of hell who likes nothing more than to watch her little boo bear ritually rape, torture and murder unsuspecting girls. Eat your heart out Norma Bates. After years of systematic abuse from his mother, Oliver is no longer at will to refuse even her most insane and perverse whims. Is he a monster or was he made to be a monster or perhaps, is that all any monster really is? Certainly some deep soul food for thought writer/director Richie Moore is serving up. The film looks to be shot in somewhere in Asia, which not only serves as a beautiful backdrop, but really lends a stranger in a strange land feel to Oliver as he bumbles through the exotic marketplaces, clumsily stalking his prey in dingy dive bars. Watch out ladies, he’s a smooth talker this one.
“I may not be pretty but I have what you want…drugs, I have drugs”
“I have money, LOTS of money and I need a girlfriend tonight”
Oliver’s deliverance from evil and little ray of sunshine comes in the form of the equally beautiful and enigmatic Sophia, played ever so delightfully by Sara Lane. She shows Oliver a tenderness and genuine affection that’s not only been missing from his life but seems to be all but alien to him. It’s this unraveling of the monster within Oliver that really drives the film as he grows to not only accept Sophia’s love, identify with the eccentric beauty’s own troubled past and ultimately resist the power his evil bitch of a mother wields over him. Will that be enough though? Can the power of love conquer the wreathing lunatic within? I guess you’ll just have to watch and see. Who’s Watching Oliver is out August 1st. #mamawantstowatch