Our film focuses on a road trip that goes wrong for a mother and a daughter. While journeying through a stormy night and surrounded by bushland, an accident occurs, leaving the two stranded. But they are not alone while trying to get back on the road they encounter a monster-like creature within the woods- a monster that naturally kills in a gruesome manner.
Throughout the film, we are given flashbacks and insights into the mother and daughter’s relationship with the film, deciding to reveal some dark details along the way. The mother is heavily addicted to alcohol and smoking. We also learn that the two don’t get along, and each flashback shows the same message/meaning and nothing more. These flashbacks can drag the film on, and one flashback I felt goes a little too far.
Not only do the film’s flashbacks slow the movie right down, but there many creative shots and plot elements which also take far longer than what I would typically expect. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing some creative filming within a horror film, but here it feels used more to help kill time and to increase the film’s total duration. Many predictable moments are had within the film, but the audience will have to wait patiently for the film to cut to the chase and confirm what we already know is coming next. This style I speak of comes from Director Bryan Bertino who previously did other horror films such as “The Strangers” 2008 & “Mocking Bird” 2014.
As for performances, I will admittedly say I was impressed with the young actress Ella Ballantine who plays the role of the daughter. As for the monster itself, I enjoyed the creativity and looked of the creature. While during some moments it appears that someone is dressed up in a suit, I still like the fact the film has made an effort at making a scary monster look real. Also considering the film’s budget, it’s a positive move instead of using CGI.
Overall, The Monster is a crafty horror film with an impressive small cast and B Grade filming feels. The film’s overall feel is burdened with flashbacks that deliver the same meanings, predictable scenes and not to mention the film’s entire duration is a major slow burn. This a horror film that will have an audience but unfortunately this one is not for me.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden