Film, Drama
3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(10user reviews)
Bouncing back from a critical and commercial flop is hard work for the most seasoned of directors; for Jennifer Lynch, it must have been near impossible. Lynch made her first film, ‘Boxing Helena’ (1993), at the age of 24, securing financing and a name cast largely on the strength of her father David’s reputation. It was reviled, and with good reason: it’s a hopeless mish-mash of saccharine romance and psychosexual drivel. That Lynch has now managed to secure funding for a second feature, even 16 years after the fact, is an achievement in itself. That the film in question is pretty good is little short of a miracle.

The set-up craftily echoes her father’s work, as a pair of FBI agents arrive at a small-town sheriff’s station to investigate a multiple murder. They place the bewildered, hostile witnesses under camera surveillance and talk them through the events of the previous day. The story unfolds in flashback, with our sympathies shifting until it’s no longer clear which characters are worth trusting: the cops are corrupt, the investigators sinister, even the cute little girl’s loving family might have something to hide.

Lynch directs with restrained, unfussy style, her camera picking out the clean lines of both the bare interrogation room interiors and the stark rural landscape outside. The cast is solid, particularly dramatic stalwarts Julia Ormond and Bill Pullman as the investigating agents and producer Kent Harper as a power-crazed deviant deputy. So while the narrative is hardly original – it meanders to a predictable but juicily malicious climactic twist – ‘Surveillance’ is never less than a compelling watch.


Release details

Release date:
Friday March 6 2009
97 mins

Cast and crew

Jennifer Chambers Lynch
Kent Harper
Kent Harper
Julia Ormond
Bill Pullman
Pell James
Ryan Simpkins
French Stewart
Michael Ironside
Peter Wunstorf

Average User Rating

2.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

I am intrigued! Shall know more later...til then watch it yourself.

Catchy title and intro - but after watching this film - what the hell did "Surveillance" have to do with it??? It had the makings of a great film, but after the (uncalled for) twist the movie lost its appeal. I felt cheated at the end. 2/5 - had potential but ruined itself. Oh, and whoever named this film, should be banned from naming them in the future!

I almost stopped watching the movie 10 minutes into it.. but gave it a chance. Now that i've seen the whole thing, I would have rather been in a coma for 2 hours. I can appreciate plot twists, but they have to have a point. Alot of pointless character traits which don't have anything to do with anything in the movie. 100% the stupidest movie.. bad enough to write a review on. There was no purpose to anything that happened in the movie.. alot of incomplete tangents that, if completed, would have made for a much better movie. Garbage

A sick movie taht has no moral core, makes little sense and seems designed only to disgust viewers. Jennifer may emulate her father in wierdness but lacks his humanity and humor...

A movie worth seeing, if you can stomach the graphic violence, sickos all around, and Bill Pullman in a psycho role... No trace of a dad from Casper here, that's for sure! Julia Ormond was very good too, very convincing as a sick puppy "fed"... Recommended.

I liked it, ver macabre and scary in spots. I was taken by the ending...Not a Bill Pullman type of film so I was surprised there. I liked it overall.

Competent thriller with plenty of suspense, rather more violent than expected (although none of it unnecessary) Much rawer than your usual slick hollywood thriller and well worth a watch. Do not be put off by 'Billi' who more than likely did not understand the film due to not having a basic grasp on the English language.

Please do not be put off by the illiterate rantings of Billi above, Surveillance is an atmospheric and suspenseful movie, although it does take a little time to really get going it is well worth seeing it through.

i was very excited for this film but i found it abit of a flop, it was good in parts ..not very realastic how he let the little girl go in the end regarding that the couple were meant to be sadist mass killing mental cases.

This was sold to me as a thriller, but for was way more violent than its ad-tag. The suspense is there but not one of the characters are remotely likeable, the title "surveillance" and camera surveillance they are under seems to have little or no bearing on the rest of the story, rather, both seem to function as gimics and the ending was just crass; a sudden change in key characters which was cringy to watch. Still, there are a couple of nicely done, well directed moments and the violence and suspense therein stayed with me for a couple of days (if that's a recommendation).