18 June 2018

THE MONSTER/2016


The Monster, from 2016, is a film from writer/director Brian Bertino who also directed The Strangers  and Mockingbird. But see, that is a little trick. I had no idea who this guy was or what he has wrote or directed even though I reviewed The Strangers here a few years ago. Hell, I totally forgot everything. I just went to good ol' IMDB and had a quick look and then added that info those movie titles here to give the impression that I know what I am talking about. All horror bloggers do that. So, back to The Monster. If you look at the screen captures of these reviews and the one to five star ratings you will see, with the exception of IMDb, this film just rakes in those amazing 4 out of 5 star ratings as if Francis Ford Coppolla himself helmed the film. And if you actually skim over a few of the  reviews you will see how the film is just praised up and down and right and left as a gem of independent horror story telling, and that the movie actually transcends the horror genre and the monster is a metaphor for something else even more horrible (bad parenting) and Bertino utilizes this and that and the two leads are great and yadda yadda yadda,  blah blah blah.





Well there are a couple hard to ignore problems with all of that. One is that the film is utterly BORING. So that is one problem. The other problem, along with being insufferably boring, is that the film totally SUCKS! The acting sucks. The fakey monster sucks. The rain sucks. The dialog sucks. The attempt at “pulling at your heart strings” with the sad human drama sucks. The use of a single location and minimal cast sucks, sucks, sucks. There is not one decent thing I can say about this movie. And yet, the lovers of this new style of vapid indie-horror are falling all over themselves praising this waste of time. The film made a lot of money. So what. It still sucks. It was made on a budget of 2 million and brought in over 60 million at the box office. Who cares? I don’t.  All of $40 dollars went into the man in a monster suit costume. If you look at the movie images I shared below you will see basically a mom and her daughter either in a car or walking around in the rain. That is about 85% of the movie. Oh, of course there is all of that emotional tension. You know, that is scary stuff. A loser, alcoholic white trash mother and her resentful teenage daughter, trapped in a car as their personal problems SLOWLY come to the surface, not only pitted against some monster in the rain but against poor smart phone reception as well. That stuff digs down deep into the human psyche, right? No it does not!

If I get a movie called THE MONSTER I want to see a monster. When the monster here is shown it is usually obscured by the rain or the trees. But supposedly that is symbolic of something according to deeper thinking people than me. I just sort of figured the monster suit was so cheap the director was too ashamed to show it directly for any length of time. And in the final scene the bratty kid fights off the monster with some sort of aerosol can and a lighter. Oh give me a break. I have to admit that at about 40 minutes into the film, with nothing happening whatsoever except the mother and daughter looking at a dead wolf in the rainy road and talking to each other in the car, I could not take it and began fast forwarding the film to just get it over with. I saw the dumb ass car guy finally get killed, after forever of watching him fix an axel. See, that is suspense.  Then the ambulance crew all get killed, but it was all so poorly executed not one death rated a playback. I am not a big fan of single location movies and complete casts of two to four people. Seems like a lot of movies are being made like that anymore. It basically equates to the movie concept garnering no budget from investors and the creators having little ability at writing a more complex script.

The movie does not work on any level. To try and make a metaphor out of the monster or whatever is lame not only because I didn’t see it but also I didn't even want to see it. who fuckin' cares. I am not brilliant but I am not an idiot either. I don't pretend to be brilliant by saying I see something that is really not there, or that it is almost there but rather vaguely. You know, smart people will see it all. And I don’t think anyone else saw all these lofty metaphors and esoteric symbolisms either. Not until they went to all those online reviews and began to parrot the sentiments of pretentious ass movie reviewers. "Oh, uh, yea! I saw that little allegory. I am sure I did, because, I...ummm... am smart." I think I may know what is going on with films like this. The writer/director wants to “think outside the box” and get away from old clichés and formulas. Of course he can’t and he only dresses up the old clichés with slight variations here and there, but in the end what does he do? He has the final girl whacking the monster with a homemade flame- thrower. To think outside the box one must have first mastered being able to think inside the box. Overall I guess I would have enjoyed the film more had it just been about a bunch of horny, stoned teenagers on a trip through the woods to one of their families' cabin by the lake and their car breaks down on the road there (like the car in this movie did) and then they argue and squabble amongst one another while fighting off the monster thing. This movie is the same story line, only with two people instead of a small group. And if I want a deep movie about neglectful, alcoholic parents I will check out a well made and well acted drama film, maybe it will be in black and white even, and not a low budget "horror" movie called THE MONSTER. Good grief.












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