Surveillance – review

Oh Jennifer Lynch, what happened to you? Your career started so promisingly with Boxing Helena and then you just disappeared. When I saw you were going to have a new movie out I was pretty stoked. I mean, I like your dad’s films but, well, sometimes he’s too weird for his or anyone’s good. He gets caught up in the art of his films and forgets to tell a story. Ah, alas, my excitement was poorly placed and now you too have disappointed me.


In Surveillance two FBI agents come into a small town to interview the three living witnesses to what may well be the work of serial killers. The killers have cut a bloody swath through the countryside and so far these are the only people to survive them, and one of them may have a clue that will lead to their capture. What the two find though are a young girl who doesn’t want to talk about what happened, a woman still strung out from earlier, and a cop with a chip on his shoulder. The two set up their cameras and begin their interrogations and what they begin to find out is that no one is telling the whole truth about what exactly happened, and that the real truth may be deadlier than even they can guess.

A pretty pedestrian thriller, there is little to shock or interest most viewers, I am very sad to say. The acting is done well enough but this is a film we really have seen before and it just isn’t weird enough, or deep enough to warrant more than a cursory viewing. There is an interesting story here, and a dark one, but we get caught between the story of the people who were witnesses and then shifted to the story of the people they witnessed and when that shift happens the film loses focus and I lost interest. There was also one conceit in the film which involved police officers grossly abusing their power and doing it in such a way that it became cartoonish and silly to think a citizen would stand for it, whatever the consequences may be. There are good actors here, the film is shot well enough, but it just never works. It feels pedestrian, as watchable as it may be, and when the end rolls I just can’t say I felt like I had seen something memorable and I wish that wasn’t the case. Lynch is a talented filmmaker and I hope she’ll have more work in the future to re-prove that fact.

6 out of 10

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.