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Monday, May 16, 2016

REVIEW: 'I Am Watching You'

It's never a good idea to (ahem) date a neighbor ... but that's exactly what happens in "I Am Watching You," the latest erotic thriller to air on the Lifetime Movie Network. The movie premiered last night and is sure to find a permanent place in the network's rotation of sexy scary movies.

The story follows romance writer Nora (Madeline Zima, who has certainly grown up since "The Nanny"). She types away at her laptop, blogging sexy stories and aspiring to be become a famous author. When Nora has the opportunity to score a book deal (brokered by a publisher played by the still sexy Leslie Anne Downs), she is creatively blocked. Enter neighbor Lucas (Brian Ames), a mysterious photographer who spends a lot of time in his window. Nora and Lucas begin a flirtation through the blinds, and it's inevitable that they seal the deal. 

She's up front with him. This is a no strings attached relationship. He's cool with that, but deep down he's a Stage 5 clinger. He calls constantly and is frustrated each time Nora has work or social obligations. Tension builds as Lucas goes from a friend with benefits to a stalker without limits. Not even awesome sex can save this relationship, and the audience can predict what happens next. A spurned Lucas becomes unhinged and obsessive.

Director Maureen Bharoocha is no stranger to balancing suspense with a sexy vibe. She previously helmed another solid Lifetime thriller, "Fatal Flip," and knows how to engage audiences with slow, steamy build-ups and explosive resolutions. Of course, she is helped by her two enticing leads, who have plenty of chemistry. Ames is particularly effective as a guy who goes from cool to clingy. Kudos to supporting players Lilan Bowden and Marshall Porter. They anchor the story as Nora's supportive friends, who also find themselves as targets of Lucas' wrath.

Check out "I Am Watching You" again next weekend. It airs 9 p.m. (CST), May 21 and at 1 a.m., May 22. 

"I Am Watching You": Directed by Maureen Bharoocha, Starring Madeline Zima as Nora, Brian Ames as Lucas, Leslie Ann Downs as Margaret, Lilan Bowdwn as Karen, Marshall Porter as Scotty

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