Placing a family-friendly spin on a premise suitable for “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Someone Was Watching” is a mostly unremarkable but modestly suspenseful drama aimed at the tweener demographic. Theatrical potential is miniscule, but homevid and cable exposure may attract appreciative young auds.
Working from a well-received novel by David Patneaude, writer-director Mark Goodman takes a too-leisurely approach to the narrative. Months after the disappearance of his pre-school sister, who presumably drowned in a lake near their family’s summer home, young teen Chris Barton (Jonathan Rudy) spots something suspicious in a video shot shortly before his sib went missing. With help from Pat (Ben Watson), his best buddy, he pieces together clues that indicate little Molly (Chanise McClure) was abducted by a middle-age couple now living in another state. (Couple’s motives, it should be noted, have nothing to do with pedophilia.) But Chris’ grieving parents dismiss their son’s suspicions, forcing Chris and Pat to investigate on their own. Bland performances and pokey pacing conspire to muffle pic’s emotional impact. Still, final scenes generate genuine tension as Chris literally rides to the rescue. Tech values are reasonably competent.