Fantasia 2015: Observance

A man is hired to spy on a woman in Observance.  Parker (Lindsay Farris) has been hired by a mysterious employer to stay in an apartment and spy on Tenneal (Stephanie King), the woman across the street. Over the course of the next week, Parker does this job without asking too many questions of his employer. However, as paranoia starts to set in, the toll of this job might become too much for Parker to handle.

Observance is the second feature film by Australian filmmaker Joseph Sims-Dennett (Bad Behaviour) and it can probably be best described as a modern Rear Window, with a bit of a supernatural twist. The main protagonist Parker hasn’t been himself since the death of his son and this job can be seen as something as a release for him. However, the relatively simple task becomes quite complicated, as Parker begins seeing shadows in his photographs and begins vomiting black liquid into the toilet.

Observance keeps it quite ambiguous why exactly Parker was told to spy on the woman across the street. The only thing that’s for sure is that something doesn’t seem quite right about this job. The bulk of the film is shown entirely from Parker’s perspective and it is up to interpretation whether he truly begins experience supernatural events or if they are simply all in his head. Altogether, Observance is a quite solid single location thriller.

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).