Mon-Mon-Mon-Monsters! follows a group of Taiwanese high schoolers who fall upon an injured humanoid creature that they proceed to chain up and torture. While they tease and experiment on her, the creature's sister begins a violent search to find her lost, feral vampire-esque sibling. The social outcast of the group, Lin Shu-wei, morally grapples with the situation. Tension between him and group worsens as the sister zones in on her lost sister.
Mon-Mon-Mon Monsters! Review
In many ways, MMMM! transcends the social differences of the country it originates from, communicating a universal message of the social struggles of high school. It does a great job of conveying angst that is recognizable in all cultures. And this film grasps that parallel and never lets go.
Foreign horror comedies can be hit or miss because humor tends to be one of the widest cultural gaps to overcome. MMMM! manages just fine, delivering some great dark humor amidst its somber social commentary and horrific scenes. I never felt removed from the story, understanding the depth of each decision even when it is subtly motivated. Its ability to bridge its message to even the culturally-diverse-challenged such as myself is more than commendable, it's impressive.
The story-telling is on-point, though I felt there was a drag in the middle, when the progression of the plot lagged behind its "torture the creature" centerpiece. The lag, and movie as a whole, reminded me of Dead Girl, as a horror vehicle is used to discuss the complexities of teen emotions and psychological/social progressions/regressions. The vehicle is used perfectly to drive the point and leads to a final moment that is disturbingly familiar to tensions currently in the States.
The creatures, while applauded by others, have their moments, but aren't particularly unique. They resemble depictions of feral children used many times before. Their behavior and usage in some of the more memorable moments are certainly worth noting, but I was never truly impressed by the overall treatment. The limited budget is well used, but makes itself known in a couple of brief instances.
I would almost consider the film a dark drama first and horror comedy second. There is plenty of both to argue the order, but its content couldn't be categorized outside of horror, assuredly. It's overall an impressive piece of filmmaking that deserves appreciation for its ability to convey a concise message about the youth of any culture.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 8/10
Horror Quality: 6/10
Film Quality: 7/10