Movie review of “They’re Watching”: Greetings from Moldova, where surly locals stare sullenly at stupid strangers — in this case, a U.S. camera crew working for a home-fixer-upper show. Watch out for the hatchet. Rating: 1 star out of 4.

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Greetings from Moldova. Where surly locals stare sullenly at stupid strangers. Where the traditional regional greeting extended to said strangers is a hatchet in the forehead.

Fun times in Eastern Europe in “They’re Watching,” I’ll tell ya.

What we have here is a horror movie with all the expected trimmings: Rumors of witchcraft. An isolated house way out in the middle of spooky woods where no one can hear you … well, you know how that goes. Mobs of angry peasants brandishing torches and bad intentions. And that ever-popular hatchet in the forehead.

Movie Review ★  

‘They’re Watching,’ with David Alpay, Brigid Brannagh, Kris Lemche, Mia Faith, Carrie Genzel, Dimitri Diatchenko. Written and directed by Jay Lender and Micah Wright. 94 minutes. Not rated; for mature audiences. Pacific Place.

The stupid strangers in this instance are members of a U.S. camera crew working for one of those home-fixer-upper shows that clutter cable like crab grass. They come to film that lonely house out in the boonies where an expat American woman (Brigid Brannagh) has done a great job of spiffing the place up.

The crewpeople (David Alpay, Kris Lemche, Mia Faith, Carrie Genzel) are Ugly Americans, each and every one. The worst of the bunch is their boss, played by Genzel as a foulmouthed harridan who bullies and berates anyone and everyone she comes into contact with.

The others, feckless 20-somethings, mock Moldova and Moldovans. They kvetch about the lack of Starbucks and other first-world amenities in the local village.

They dismiss all the obvious signs signaling You. Don’t. Belong. Here. Like those hostile stares. (They really are watching, you know.) Like the near riot that breaks out when they intrude on a closed funeral ceremony. Like, above all, the local, staring woman who tells them flat out to get out now.

They don’t. Of course.

And so bad things happen. Of course.

Cue screams. Cue blood.

Cue the hatchet.