Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Movie Review - The Monster

I have a soft spot for low-budget and small/indie movies. It can mean they explore different ideas, get more into story or character, and don't try to simply appeal to a broad market.

The Monster is unfortunately not one of those hidden gems.

Deadbeat mom is taking too-mature daughter to her estranged father's, they get stranded, and have to deal with a monster. Events are punctuated with flashbacks showing what a horrible person Mom is, and how Daughter has had to suffer. Monster keeps eating would-be rescuers, and the women finally have to rescue themselves.

Were this merely a drama about Mom and Daughter overcoming difficulties, or merely a horror about a random monster doing random monster things to innocent people, it would have been so much better. Instead, it's this confused mash up of character drama and horror that never pulls the emotional notes it's going for.

The actresses are bad. They can't speak a convincing line, and the shrillness of Mom's voice would make me want to gag sometimes. Daughter speaks in a way that's way beyond her years, and most adults would never talk like that. But that's on the writer, not the actress; she just made poor dialogue sound even more stilted.

Horror movie logic can be bad, even in the best of times, but these two really take the cake. Get in the car, get out of the car. Hide, panic, fight. Change seats, now do this, now do that. It was abysmal.

The directing was also pretty bad, when it came to the monster and horror. So many scares or "intense" moments were based off the characters having the same narrow point of view as the camera. There was no way for the creature to have snuck up on them while they were staring out the window, but because the camera didn't look, it must have been possible.

I won't spoil the ending, in case you somehow decide this movie is actually something you want to spend your time with, but I will say that it was highly disappointing. The way Mom and Daughter escape...just...I simply shook my head. I was already so done with the movie at that point that it couldn't even hurt me.

Skip this.

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