HOLLYWOOD—I was surprised by the thriller “The Watchers.” Whenever there is a movie with M. Night Shamaylan’s name attached I have to be skeptical. This is the guy who gave us the exceptional, “The Sixth Sense,” but at the same time he also gave us “The Village.” Some of his movies are good, think “Spilt,” while some of them are just bad. Sorry, I’m looking at you “The Happening.”

However, this film is NOT directed by M. Night Shyamalan, it is helmed by his daughter Ishana, who has taken some tips from her father. So this latest outing “The Watchers” is about creatures inhabiting a forest that has four people trapped, one of those people is our lead character, Mina (Dakota Fanning). Mina is working in Ireland and she has been struggling with some things from her past that don’t immediately come to light for the viewer.

Yes, this is a protagonist that is NOT an open book to the audience. We really don’t know much about Mina until the second half of the movie starts to enter into the final act. We know she suffered some sort of trauma as a kid because her sister leaves her a message about not attending their mother’s memorial. The story is peculiar because it sees Mina volunteering to drop off a unique parrot for her boss, but in the process, she gets stuck in this secluded area of the forest.

When she starts to hear strange sounds near a cabin, Mina is ushered inside by a woman named Madeline (Olwen Fouéré), and she meets Ciara (Georgina Campbell) and Daniel (Oliver Finnegan). Mina soon learns that they have been trapped in the cabin as they have to be cautious of ‘The Watchers’ who visit at night and if you do decide to journey outside of the cabin you have limited time to return before it’s too late.

These creatures cannot be in the sunlight, so you think that would provide our protagonists ample time to escape, but the forest is like a maze and if you get lost, well, you might as well say sayonara as the audience discovered during the opening act of the movie. Now the first act of the movie is a bit slow; my interest was seriously waning, and then you start to get more information about what is unfolding and the movie manages to hook you as a spectator.

The audience learns a little bit about the past of each of our characters and that helps create a bond to where you begin to care about their fate. The creatures are truly a massive lure until the third act, and even then it is in a dark shadowy entity that contorts and moves its body in all sorts of odd ways. The movie does an excellent job of creating this level of mystery that keeps you intrigued and wanting to know more about these creatures and what their endgame is.

The movie delivers a twist that I did not see coming from a million miles away and it will make you eager as a viewer to want to go back and watch the movie all over again to see if you can connect the dots and see where the twist unfolds and why you missed it. “The Watchers” has a compelling and riveting third act that helps boring first act salvage the movie. It starts off slow, but ends quite strong. Could a sequel be in the works? I can see it.