View of Terror Review
Shannen Doherty makes her acting come back after a few years off and no exercise.
Actual DirecTV Synopsis
A mysterious voyeur stalks a young woman after she moves into an apartment.
Level of Attention While Watching: Devoted Husband
I think it’s fair to say that Shannen Doherty is an A-list celeb when it comes to LMN movies. Doherty plays Celeste, a woman who moves into a new apartment and has a stalker. I think Doherty is great for the part. Not too flashy, but flashy enough to where you’d believe she’d maybe have a stalker.
Celeste’s boyfriend, Brent, is played by Michel Francoeur, no relation to Jeff (actually I don’t know, I’m just assuming they aren’t). Brent is an actor who also does voice work in “View of Terror” and also misses Celeste after they take time off, which makes him a suspect as the stalker man. Francoeur has a good enough look and does a good enough job being the boyfriend that I don’t have any issues with his performance.
The security guard, Derrek, at the building across the street where there’s a potential stalker is played by Sean Tucker. Tucker does a great job as the security guard as he’s kind of likeable in the “I feel sorry for him kind of sense,” but should you…? You can find out by reading my movie review below.
The Movie (with spoilers)
When a woman, Celeste (Doherty), wants to get away from her boyfriend for a little bit, she decides to move out of his apartment and get her own. That’s when the all the trouble in “View of Terror” begins for Celeste. Before I go any further, let’s look at Celeste again. I’ve never heard of this name in my entire life until I watched “Committed” and don’t know why it’s used in a movie at all. For my complete feelings on the name go back and read my “Committed” review.
Back to the movie… after Celeste gets her new apartment, she almost instantly gets a phone call from her new stalker. He’s got a Jigsaw like tone to his voice and “Saw” came out in 2004, the same year as “View of Terror”… coincidence? Celeste doesn’t really think much of it and just thinks it’s her boyfriend (or former boyfriend) Brent (Francoeur). The calls continue and Celeste starts taking them more seriously as the guy says he’s watching her. Celeste then makes the logical decision of wanting a new apartment. Obviously she’s unable to get one or else we wouldn’t have the movie. She can’t get a new apartment because she signed a lease and there are complications with the building manager and she can’t get out of it. She then demands drapes for her apartment and she temporarily puts up bed sheets. Not only does she get bed sheets, but she gets a telescope as well so she can see who’s watching her from across the street because she’s under the assumption he’s watching her through a telescope, which I’d say is a safe assumption. During the movie they’ll flash to the stalker looking through the telescope (with the little black outlining stuff on the TV) and breathing heavily, so you automatically assume he’s overweight and severely out of shape. That pretty much got rid of the boyfriend for me. The apartment manager guy I guess I could believe, he was older, probably doesn’t have the cardiovascular he once did.
The movie does a few things to throw in moments of panic here and there, one of them being Celeste returning home to her apartment and having all the sheets gone and then she gets a call. This makes her think the man has been in her apartment. She tells the building manager and the building manager was unable to get ahold of her to let her know they were sizing her windows for the blinds. After this, Celeste gets frustrated back in her apartment when she tries to put the sheets up again. Apparently this is a chore as she has a staple gun and gets mad when things don’t go her way. It’s 2003… pretty sure those handy 3M hooks are available. Going back to the building manager trying to call her, he had trouble doing this since she’s been doing crazy things with her phone and the phone company so the guy will stop calling her, but it’s not enough, this stalker has too much telephone stalking knowledge.
One night the stalker calls her and she keeps him on the line and then looks through her telescope to see which window in the other building has a telescope looking through it. Celeste sees a window and then marks it down on her handy diagram of possible windows from the other building. The next day, Celeste heads over to the building and starts flirting with the security front desk guy, Derrek. This part is moderately disappointing because I would have liked to see Celeste showing a bit more skin, but instead she’s well covered and still gets her way with the security guy. She’s able to convince him to take her up to the apartment that’s in question. He’s very hesitant to do this because he’s not supposed to leave the desk. She then asks him, “What if you have to use the rest room?” Then from there she says she thinks it takes longer to use the rest room than take a ride up the elevator. She must be assuming he only poops and takes his time while doing so.
After the security guard falls for Celeste’s Jedi mind tricks, they go up to the apartment, which belongs to a guy she’s met named David Jacobsen, and the guard even lets her in since David is at work. They walk around and find a large collection of porn and a telescope pointing directly at her apartment. It’s obviously the guy who lives there right? Not right, way too easy. At this point, he’s a suspect, as is the boyfriend, but to me it’s also the security guard in my opinion. He was just shaky from the start but seemed like a good guy, a little out of shape though.
When she leaves the apartment complex, she sees a mysterious man with a hooded sweatshirt, who she’s seen before, but this time she chases him down and catches him, which is pretty impressive considering the streets were crowded, he had a headstart, was a man, and the hooded sweatshirt said, “Track Champion: 100 meter State Champ.” Just kidding on that last one. Anyway, the hooded sweatshirt guy turns out to be her on-and-off boyfriend Brent. Brent then explains that he’s just protecting her because she has a stalker. They then start hooking up again.
As for David Jacobsen, the cops go over and check out his place, he’s pretty calm about everything. They go through his porn stash, nothing too filthy there, but then they find a manilla colored envelope with pictures of Celeste in it and David claims to know nothing about those pictures… sure buddy… tell it to the judge! David is arrested soon after but then is let out so Celeste keeps a close eye on him.
Celeste continues to get phone calls and there’s evening a threatening note – “BYE BYE BIRDY” – left in the elevator when she boards. This obviously means her pet bird is probably dead, but dead birds have solid resale value so someone is rich off it assuming it’s dead. When Celeste gets up to her apartment, her boyfriend Brent is up there to surprise her for him getting a role in some play or movie, but there’s nothing to celebrate as Celeste’s bird is missing, now she’s really pissed. While Celeste is pissed, she realizes the stalker has had cameras in her apartment at one point of time as she’s watching video from the stalker. They snoop around a bit, but the stalker got rid of them, so clearly he has access to the apartment.
The building manager lets Celeste know that the lady before her in that same room mysteriously disappeared, which probably would have been nice to know before she moved in. You wouldn’t want to buy the OJ Simpson murder house without at least knowing what happened there right? Much like all LMN movies, Celeste turns into a private investigator and tracks down the previous tenant who’s not quite the looker Celeste is so I’m not sure what she’s doing with a stalker. I guess the stalker wanted her out of there in hopes a hotter woman would move in. The former tenant says the stalker killed her fiance but made it look like an accident. Celeste knows Brent is in danger, especially since the stalker has been threatening to hurt Brent when he calls Celeste.
Celeste does the smart thing here and buys security equipment for her apartment so she can catch the guy in the act when he enters her apartment. Unfortunately for her, the stalker has the ability to sense electrical equipment recording him and takes it when he enters her apartment while she’s gone. Celeste is still under the impression that it’s David Jacobsen who’s stalking her so she’s out to prove it. She heads over to the other building and talks to Derrek about David’s whereabouts and wants to prove it’s him. She tells Derrek to call her if he sees him leaving. She then walks away and as she walks away she has a “The security guard didn’t ask me for my number…” look on her face. Then Derrek yells out, “Oh mam, what’s your number?” She then smiles and gives it to him, this pretty much cuts out Derrek as being a suspect since he asked her for her number. Well that’s what you might think if you’re naive, but I know better.
Jacobsen leaves the building and Derrek gets Celeste’s attention and then she comes over to him. Derrek then gives Celeste the old, “Want to see his stuff in storage in the basement?” line. You should NEVER fall for this line as the basement is never a nice place and it usually means the man taking you down there is about to abduct you. In movies anyway… in high school when I asked a girl if she “wanted to see my basement” then she knew what was up… awwww yeeeah.
After Celeste stupidly follows Derrek into the basement, he shows Celeste David’s storage closet which is filled with cameras and VHS tapes (it’s 2003, VHS was still moderately relevant I guess) with the name “Celeste” written on the label. This must mean that David is the stalker and all is well and he can be put in jail. But wait! She hears her parrot! She immediately gets suspicious of Derrek. Then while they’re leaving, Derrek doesn’t let her leave and takes her to his secret cage room. Then he gives her all the “Every day I sit around and just sort mail and service people” talk that most deranged stalkers give to their victims and then he plans on killing her I guess. Kind of a shame he’s the killer as I kind of liked him, seemed like a nice guy.
Luckily for Celeste, Brent saw her go into the building and when she didn’t come out he followed her in there and then into the basement, then there’s a struggle and Derrek gets knocked out and Celeste and Brent are safe and happy afterwards.
Other Possible Titles
- The Stalker in the Other Building
- Obsessed 90210 Fan
- Brenda Walsh: The After Years
- Brenda Walsh: From LA to New York
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It kept me on the edge of my seat for most of it. It’s always nice to see the old popular TV actors, in this case Doherty, still continuing to do stuff instead of sitting on their mounds of cash and not making awesome Lifetime movies, which is probably what I would be doing had I starred in “90210”.