Monstrous Review [Prime Video] – Review in FilmTotaal
Director: Chris Sivertson | Script: Carol Chrest | Cast: Christina Ricci (Laura), Santino Barnard (Cody), Don Durrell (Mr. Langtree), Colleen Camp (Mrs. Langtree), Lew Temple (Mr. Alonzo), ea | Time to play: 88 minutes | Year: 2022
Laura and her son Cody have a fresh start in a new town, somewhere in the USA in the 1950s. Next to their house is a pond, from which Cody sees a strange figure emerge every night. Who seems to be aiming at him. Laura suspects the trauma of what her ex-husband did to them, but she herself begins to experience inexplicable hallucinations.
A horror movie should be scary. It doesn’t matter how: terrifying effects, images of something scary and supernatural, or even psychological. If it doesn’t do much for you in that area, it’s not a success. For those who want to shudder Monstrous be a disappointment. Not that the creators didn’t try: Cody crawls under his blanket, while a dark figure looms into his bedroom. But it does not work.
On the other hand, that is not true. Monstrous aim more. The spooky scenes turn out to be a draw at the beginning of the film, but gradually the mystery takes over. A figure having the boy in his sights, that’s standard horror fodder. But what does mother Laura suffer from? Why does television appear out of nowhere? Why is he raving? And why keep repeating that text from that commercial?
The sound design doesn’t help either. Certain sounds have been manipulated at times to give the images a sinister and alienating atmosphere. Some of it later turns out to have a function, but at the time it sounds like superfluous nonsense that should make things scary.
visual remains Monstrous fortunately very neutral. Just well shot without too much fuss, making it at least feel like a professionally made movie. Judging by Christina Ricci’s performance, the financial reward wasn’t big enough for a well-known actor to really push himself for a role. Certainly not bad, but clearly on autopilot. The figure that enters Laura’s house a couple of times looks very cool. A modern version of some sort of swamp creature slowly taking shape.
The pace picks up as the vagueness begins to accumulate. Eventually there will be clarity, and that will at least make the overall situation very clear. It’s not a statement that’s never been used before, but at least it was executed so well here that it didn’t come from miles away. And exactly at that moment of the reveal, something strange happens, which was really impossible to predict. A very strong moment, partly because that event immediately reveals another revelation.
Well done, but unfortunately very bland. Two years ago there was a popular miniseries that did the exact same trick and it worked better. Presumably the script was for Monstrous already written then, so it is not plagiarism. But despite the fact that everything is correct and fits very well into its place, the reason for this is simply too exaggerated.
Monstrous can be seen in first video.