THE WATCHERS is a 2024 horror mystery with a supernatural fantasy plot based on Irish folklore. Ishana Night Shyamalan’s feature film debut. The first half is much better than the last. Read our full The Watchers movie review here!

THE WATCHERS is a supernatural folk horror movie. There’s a big mystery at the heart of the story and I can’t claim I feel that it was ever entirely explained. I mean, sure, we get the most basic answers, but you’ll still be left with many questions.

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Maybe part of the reason for this is the very strong first half, which is then followed by a weaker second half. The weakness comes from some predictable plot twists and a lot of answers that beg new questions. Those questions are never fully answered.

Continue reading our The Watchers (2024) movie review below. Find it in theaters now.

Perfect for fans of folk horror

In The Watchers (2024), we follow the 28-year-old artist, Mina (Dakota Fanning). She’s working in a pet shop in Ireland, but her life is just going through the motions and she seems lost. To put it mildly.

Clearly, she’s a gifted artist and is constantly drawing in her book, but nothing more seems to come of it.

One day, while transporting a parrot to a nearby zoo, she ends up in an expansive, untouched forest in western Ireland. There, she finds herself trapped in a Twilight Zone-esque situation.

Her car breaks down as everything electronic or mechanical stops working. She starts walking to find help, but when she looks back her car is gone and she’s somehow lost in the woods already.

So far, so good, and it is good. For fans of folk horror, this is exactly what you want; A creepy and eerie setting where everything looks natural, but something supernatural is clearly at work.

The Watchers (2024) – Review | Supernatural Folk Horror

Safety or a trap?

Before nightfall – as in just before the sun sets – Mina finds shelter. She sees a woman (Olwen Fouéré) running through the forest and follows her. Once inside the shelter, she becomes trapped alongside three strangers.

Every night when the sun sets, they are watched and stalked by mysterious creatures. Each night, they have to line up and allow themselves to be watched and studied by something they cannot see.

During the day, they can roam around the woods where “Point of no return”-signs are lined up and numbered throughout the forest. If you go beyond them, you won’t make it back to the shelter before nightfall. But if you don’t, you’ll never escape.

Essentially, the shelter becomes both a place of safety and a trap. What to do? And what are those creatures watching them?! That is what you need to watch The Watchers to find out. Well, unless you read the book by A.M. Shine that this movie is based on, of course.

Alongside Dakota Fanning (Ripley) and Olwen Fouéré (Cult Killer), we also see Oliver Finnegan (Creeped Out), John Lynch (The Banishing), and Georgina Campbell, who has become quite the horror darling these past few years.

Georgina Campbell has starred in Barbarian (2022) followed by Bird Box: Barcelona (2023)Lovely, Dark, and Deep (2023), and then T.1.M. (2023).

Watch The Watchers in theaters now!

This is the feature film debut of Ishana Night Shyamalan. And yes, the name reveals that she is the daughter of M. Night Shyamalan (who also produces it), so the “Shyamalan twist” runs in the family and almost feels like a given for her feature film debut as well.

However, despite being a fan of her father (for the most part), I was excited about this feature film due to Servant. Ishana Shyamalan wrote and directed episodes of that amazing series. She wrote 10 episodes and directed six, so it wasn’t just a one-time deal.

When I say that I really loved the first act of The Watcher, I’m not exaggerating. I loved that eerie setting and not knowing what was going on exactly. At the same time, however, being forced to recognize that the situation is dangerous and could be fatal.

The issues arise once questions are answered and you’re left with (at best) some unanswered questions or (at worst) some rather big plot holes. As a horror movie, The Watchers works as a creepy story based on folklore, but as a whole, it could’ve been better.

The Watchers (2024) premiered in movie theaters on June 7, 2024.


In Theaters: June 7, 2024
Director: Ishana Night Shyamalan
Script: Ishana Night Shyamalan
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Georgina Campbell, Olwen Fouéré, Oliver Finnegan, Hannah Howland


The Watchers follows Mina, a 28-year-old artist, who gets stranded in an expansive, untouched forest in western Ireland. When Mina finds shelter, she unknowingly becomes trapped alongside three strangers who are watched and stalked by mysterious creatures each night.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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