A woman is slowly stalked to the brink of madness by a man watching her from the opposite tower block. Her attempts to get the police to take her seriously leaves her with no option but to track him down herself.
"Someone's Watching Me is sort of the forgotten movie of John Carpenter's career. Someone's Watching Me aired back on November 29th of 1978, which was almost a month after Carpenter's career took off with the horror classic Halloween.
Originally John Carpenter wrote the movie as theatrical film, but Warner Brothers decided to make it a TV movie. In my opinion I think that was the right move. Even though this movie aired after Halloween it was actually filmed prior.
I have to admit I enjoyed this movie quite a bit, but I don't think it would have worked as well as a theatrical film. You can clearly though see flashes of the brilliance Carpenter would show through out his career. Despite his reputation as a filmmaker who uses violence, Carpenter aims more for suspense and tension. This is a TV movie so the violence will obviously be lacking, which in some ways I think is a plus. Carpenter had to create a certain amount of tension and suspense and rely on that to make up for the lack of violence.
John Carpenter has stated many times his love of Alfred Hitchcock and here he pays homage to the master of suspense with a movie clearly inspired by Rear Window. The screenplay by John Carpenter is well-written though there are some cheesy moments in the script. The structure of the script I don't think really works well as a theatrical film. Had it been a feature I'm sure there would have been changes made though.
As I stated Someone's Watching Me is one of the forgotten movies in John Carpenter's career; while watching this flick you can see the potential John Carpenter had and in my opinion very much lived up to. Like I brought up earlier despite coming out after Halloween, this was shot prior to it and Carpenter really grew as a filmmaker in that short period of time. While not every single moment of the film works great, Carpenter was learning his craft and does a wonderful job.
Despite being a TV movie Carpenter makes up for everything and does a solid job at creating suspense and tension through out. One of my favorite things about the movie is the phone calls. While they can be a bit creepy at times they start off as more annoying than anything. The caller isn't really saying anything that could get him in much trouble and he's actually sending gifts, which prompts Lauren Hutton's character to say something along the lines of what do I tell the police he's sending me gifts?
There are a couple of creepy moments in the phone calls, but it's not really about that. It's more on the fact this guy knows her every move and that is why it gets creepy. The 2nd half of the movie really picks up with the suspense and delivers on that area more than a lot of theatrical movies. One of the very best scenes is when Lauren Hutton's character is in the callers' house and Adrienne Barbeau is in Hutton's house. I don't wanna spoil the scene, but it was a classic John Carpenter moment.
The cast delivers mostly solid performances with Lauren Hutton in the lead. Adrienne Barbeau and Charles Cyphers have supporting roles and both would work with Carpenter a couple of times.
Overall Someone's Watching Me is a solid suspense/thriller early in John Carpenter's career and the potential was shown and he lived up to that. Don't expect much violence keep in mind this is a TV movie so there is only so far Carpenter can go, but like I said he makes up for that is suspense and tension.
Someone's Watching Me may not be one of the best movies Carpenter has ever made, but it's a very solid one and can stand proud in his body of work. Due to the fact this movie for the longest time was not available on VHS or DVD it's rarely seen. Hopefully now with the DVD release from Warner Brothers more Carpenter fans will seek out this forgotten classic.
Little bit of trivia, this movie is the first time John Carpenter and Adrienne Barbeau worked together and this is the movie in, which they first met and would later get married. "
I always feel like... somebody's watching meeee...
James Seger | The Woodlands, TX United States | 02/19/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was so excited to see the 'forgotten' John Carpenter film finally getting a DVD release. He's one of my favorite directors. Unfortunately this is one of his weakest films and probably my least favorite.
It's not all bad and has some genuinely tense moments, but they are few and far between. I'm not sure if John Carpenter just wasn't feeling it with this one or if it was due to the constraints of it being a T.V. movie with the constant breaks required for commercials. Whatever it is, the film is a series of peaks and valleys. The pace is off. You just don't get enough of a feeling of building tension. It's funny, because this film was preceded by Assault on Precinct 13 and Halloween and followed by The Fog and all are excellent, suspenseful films.
In this movie there are a number of good scenes. The bits with the laundry room, the park at night, the penthouse, the search of a house and the last fifteen minutes are great. But in between there are plenty of dull spots.
The music was kind of irritating. I wish John Carpenter had gotten to score this one like he does most of his movies. But he didn't and the music is here seems like a swipe of better music from other suspense movies and at times was just inappropriate for the scene. The best part musically was a scene where Leigh is opening a strange package that was synched to Vivaldi's 'Winter'. That part was very well done, but also pointed out how bad the rest of the music was.
Also, Lauren Hutton just didn't seem right for the part. She's a good actress and the part was written well, but the two didn't seem to connect.
One highlight of the movie is Adrienne Barbeau. She is terrific in her part. It's easy to see why J.C. used her in his future movies (well, aside from their marriage). I wish she were in the movie more.
Also, I applaud him for writing in a positive lesbian character. It must have been scandalous for a T.V. movie from 1978. She wasn't stereotypical, never made any 'sinister' passes at our heroine and also wasn't portrayed as the 'magical gay character'. Kudos to John Carpenter.
This movie is worth a rental. But compared to what John Carpenter had done before and would do in the future, this entry was weak."
I enjoyed this...but then again I'm a Carpenter fan and a ha
Kolchak the Night Stalker | California | 07/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Someone's Watching Me" was a really pleasant surprise. I've watched all the Carpenter films over the years and am a huge fan of his but by no means a Carpenter expert. I hate to admit that I never heard of this little made-for-TV movie and was thrilled to see it was on DVD. My wife and I watched it late at night and we really enjoyed it. It is definitely not completely cut out of the usual Carpenter mold with the awesome synthesizer music and the usual mainstay actors that he re-uses, or the gore and shock value. It is mostly a building of a feeling of terror and mystery. There is the constant wondering WHO the stalker is? Carpenter nicely has the main character Leigh meet several men in the movie whom you believe could be the stalker/killer. But you never really know?
Charles Cyphers is in this flick and Adrienne Barbeau, both mainstays of Carpenter's films. Cyphers has been in a heap of his movies over the years playing mostly cops or bosses. Barbeau, Carpenter's now ex-wife, plays, of all things, a lesbian! Pretty bold for 1978! LOL Lauren Hutton, of whom I'm not really a fan, does a solid job and excels in making Leigh a quirky but likeable, strong lead female character.
I thought there were some great tense moments and they were genuinely a little scary. No blood and guts, no Michael Myers moments, but the buildup and tension, plot, dialogue, and ending were satisfying.
If you're considering buying this, DO IT. It's fun for a Friday night spook thriller to watch with your lady. Break out the popcorn and watch it. It's worth the fourteen or fifteen clams and I guarantee in a few years you'll want to watch it again. It's not Carpenter's best, but it's a keeper for sure. Enjoy!"
Club Dead Vacations
Veritas Veritatis | 12/04/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A very good American "giallo" film written and directed by John Carpenter.
I'm a John Carpenter fan and I'm surprised that this film is overlooked when a discussion of his films is engaged. I'm also surprised that this was a television production. It is certainly good enough have been released in theaters.
A clever killer stalking a woman is not an unique plot, but it is all in how it's done and Carpenter does it right. If you enjoy Hitchcock and Argento, you will certainly enjoy this, although it is not in that league.
The pacing is great. Slowly building the tension from beginning to end. It gets better and better with some virtuoso cinematography.
The very ending was somewhat disappointing for me. Not experientially which is excellent, but rather the plot. That is a subjective opinion. I have no doubt that others would defend it vigorously and I can guess what their valid arguments would be.
The only substantial flaw in the film was the musical score. It is standard canned TV movie music. If this film was also scored by John Carpenter, in his unique style, it would have been several degrees better.
I would love it if Mr. Carpenter composed a score for this film and re-released it on DVD.
There is a notable discontinuity in the circumference of a scanning telescope image that is sloppy film-making/editing and partially damages a great sequence.
I Love This Kind Of Thing: Check out the reflection of the man's face in the knife on the insert illustration. Look at it up close and then from a distance. Nice!
You will want to watch "Someone's Watching Me" more than once, which makes it an excellent addition to your collection."
Interesting early Carpenter
P. Black | Fort Lauderdale, FL | 05/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
I have been a huge fan of EARLY John Carpenter ever since I was a kid. From the absolute awesomeness of Halloween, the grungy thrills of Assault on Precinct 13, the intense paranoia and pessimism of The Thing to the sheer junk heaven of Big Trouble in Little China, his early films are sheer cinema bliss. So when I recently saw that Someone's Watching Me, a TV movie he made right before Halloween, had been finally released on DVD a couple of years ago, I raced out to get it. The film stars Lauren Hutton as a young woman who moves to Los Angeles and finds a job at a local TV station. She moves into a high-end, high-rise apartment building that faces another high-rise. Soon after moving in she is stalked by someone in the other apartment building, although she is initially unaware that anything is amiss. Alright, I admit that this story outline makes this sound like a lame direct-to-DVD potboiler, but the fun in the film comes from its less predictable, even bizarre elements. First off, Hutton's character is really unlike any other main character I've seen; a real goofball, she happily chatters away to herself walking down the halls of her apartment building and makes jokes that other characters don't get or that cause them to squirm. The strange way in which she is stalked, which involves a series of gifts sent by a fictional travel agency asking her to guess the destination of her prize trip so that she can win it, also adds to its unpredictability. I also adore the scene where Hutton, sitting by herself in her car, is approached by a man who leans in and says "It's a hell of a life, isn't it?" then stumbles away, never to be seen again. Sadly the plausibility starts to take a steep dive in the final scenes as the inevitable confrontation is nothing you haven't seen a million times in many other movies. Still, I found the movie highly entertaining (enough that I watched it a second time the next night, something I never do).