I’m a huge fan of monster movies. If there’s a savage creature terrorizing innocent people, I’m there for it, so when I got the chance to review All Eyes, I was really excited. The trailer promised a fun creature feature with a bit of a unique twist, and I couldn’t wait to check it out. But unfortunately, after finally watching it, I’m sad to say that it did not live up to my expectations.
All Eyes was directed by Todd Greenlee, and it stars Jasper Hammer, Ben Hall, Danielle Evon Ploeger, and Laurie Cummings. It’s about a man named Allen who hosts a podcast about strange people and paranormal phenomena, and one day, he gets fired from his job. He’s totally distraught, but soon enough, he comes across a case that just might revitalize his career. He’s contacted by a widowed farmer named Don who claims there’s a monster living in the woods near his house, so Allen travels to the man’s home to interview him and see him capture the beast.
That’s a really cool premise, so I was very interested to see what All Eyes would do with it. And I have to say, for pretty much the whole first act, I was totally on board. The film starts by showing us the interview that got Allen fired, and it’s really well done. In particular, the acting is pretty good, and once you realize what’s going to happen, it becomes genuinely horrifying.
What’s more, this opening also does a great job of making you sympathize with Allen. While I understand why the interview gets him fired, it’s not entirely his fault. Sure, he’s not completely without blame, but he couldn’t have known it would go so terribly wrong. Because of that, I genuinely felt bad for the poor guy, so I became invested in him right away.
Then, when All Eyes introduces us to Don, it gets even better. The character is an eccentric, somewhat crazy old man, and actor Ben Hall plays him just about perfectly. He’s exactly what you’d expect from this kind of guy, and everything he says and does is an absolute joy to watch.
On top of all that, the first act of this movie also has a good amount of humor in it, and that just adds to its appeal. Granted, I didn’t literally laugh out loud at any of the jokes, but they made me smile and inwardly chuckle a whole bunch of times.
Unfortunately, though, the film’s charm wears off after a little while, and once it does, All Eyes is never able to regain it. There comes a point in the story where Allen and Don start to sit around and wait for the monster to show itself, and from then on, it just gets a bit boring, and the acting becomes a little weak.
Most notably, Jasper Hammer’s performance as Allen starts to feel somewhat wooden, so I found myself liking his character less and less as the film wore on. Granted, it never got to the point where I straight-up hated him, but I ended up liking him much less than I initially thought I would.
To be fair, none of those issues ruined the movie for me. I was still invested in the story, and I really wanted to see where it would go, so I was still liking All Eyes overall. I figured this was just a slow middle part, so I patiently waited for the monster action to hit and for the pace to pick up again.
But unfortunately, that never happened. Sure, I eventually got a bit of the payoff I was hoping for, but it was way too little way too late. Before then, the plot takes a few unexpected twists and turns, and while I didn’t hate all of them, one of these surprises really killed the film for me. I’m obviously not going to spoil what happens, but I will say that it turns All Eyes into a completely different movie for a large portion of its runtime.
Granted, I’m sure some people are going to like what the film turns into at this point (although I can’t tell you who those people are without spoiling the twist!), but for me, it was a total letdown. It completely ruined any remaining interest I had in the story, so I spent almost the entire rest of the movie just waiting for it to be over.
The only bright spot in this part of the film is a touching emotional moment with Don right before the terrible twist, and like pretty much everything else involving that crazy farmer, I really enjoyed this scene. Again, I won’t spoil it for you, but I will say that it humanizes the man and adds a bit more depth to him, so it made me like him even more.
But that one moment wasn’t nearly enough to save the movie, so when all is said and done, I’m sad to say that I wouldn’t recommend All Eyes. While it has its moments (mostly in the first act), it ends up fizzling out, so the bad in this film ultimately outweighs the good by a pretty wide margin. This isn’t the great monster movie I was hoping for, so if you’re looking for a good new creature feature, you’re going to have to look somewhere else.
All Eyes is available on all major VOD platforms.