Fleeing her abusive ex-husband, Laura (Christina Ricci) moves into a new home along with her seven-year-old son Cody (Santino Barnard). The new home is large and seems peaceful, plus it even has a lake behind the home, which is pleasing. However, as Laura and Cody attempt to start a new life, several strange and disturbing occurrences begin. While Laura has moved home in secret, her ex-husband starts to ring the home telephone, and Laura refuses to speak with him. To makes matters far worse, something unexplainable is haunting the home.
One night, Cody claims to have seen a large monster appear out of the lake. At first, Laura speaks positively, suggesting that he just had a bad dream or perhaps he is struggling to settle in the new town. Laura continues to move forward, but she can’t help but wonder if her son is telling the truth and if something more sinister is yet to reveal itself. Now, Laura will do everything to protect her son and better understand what is going on within her new home.
Monstrous is a combination of both thriller and horror. At its core, the film rides on the mystery monster that Cody claims to have seen near the lake. Christina Ricci’s performance is great, bringing a welcoming performance that feels suitable in a world of horror. Her character is a protective mother who is extremely fearful of her ex-husband and a possible monster. Another highly enjoyable aspect is the costumes, scenery and setting of the 1950s. Everything on-screen feels and looks convincing.
While the film is extremely mysterious and introduces an exciting thriller, I am saddened to say it is highly predictable with its major reveals. The clues are far too obvious, and audiences will be forced to watch characters remain baffled for a long time only to witness something they had already figured out.
Overall, it’s wonderful to see another fun performance from Christina Ricci in this mysterious and horrifying film. The film is highly satisfying, convincingly set in the 1950s, with great costume designs, cool cars, and many locations that feel real. However, while I adore the film’s mysterious introduction, I’m saddened to say how predictable I found it. Monstrous shows its cards (secrets and clues) far too early, and audiences are forced to watch leading characters continually baffled by various events, waiting for a finale that ultimately lacks excitement and jaw-dropping shocks. Monstrous (2022) is Available on DVD from October 12th.