“And They Watched” (2015): Revenge from Beyond the Grave Haunts Prison Execution Chamber


An unassuming prison janitor has his nightly routine interrupted by supernatural forces in the accomplished short And They Watched, part of the Fun Size Horror: Volume Two collection of short horror films.

The custodian (John Cianciolo) is cleaning the room containing the prison’s electric chair when he spots a handprint on the window through which witnesses watch executions. He finds that he is out of glass cleaner and goes to his supply closet to find some more. Suddenly the electricity starts behaving strangely and he finds himself confronted by a former inmate (David Scott).


Writer/director Vivian Lin has done a marvelous job with her debut short film. She has skillfully paced her film, which has no dialogue until the three-and-a-half minute mark (it runs about six minutes total). When characters speak, their words hold gravity. Lin builds an air of uncertainty and apprehension from the onset and sustains the mood throughout until the final frame. She is aided by the skillful cinematography of Paul McCurdy.

Special effects makeup artist David Scott, SFX supervisor Max MacDonald, and sound designer Eric LeClerc have also done a bang-up job for And They Watched. The gruesome makeup effects on Scott’s own character are disturbingly realistic while at the same time giving off a feeling of the supernatural. Some other characters also benefit from Scott’s makeup effects. The lighting effects and sound design as the former inmate stalks the halls express an eerie tone, indeed.


John Cianciolo and David Scott are impactful in their roles as Custodian and Executed, respectively. Cianciolo does a fine job in the wordless part of his performance and rises to the task when his confused character suddenly becomes more expressive. Scott has a multilayered role as a sympathetic person and as a vengeful entity, and he plays both parts with aplomb.

Vivian Lin and her talented crew have fashioned a sleek fright-fare short that makes all involved names to watch in the future.

And They Watched: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.