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Chaos Theory: Sickle's take on "Monstrous"

Monstrous follows a young woman befriends another woman as they go in search of a missing friend in a countryside known for its bigfoot sightings.

Monstrous Review

I'm not sure I can get behind the relatively positive reception I've seen for this movie. I found the film to be jaggedly paced, unevenly performed, and the plot to be sporadic in its intent. The twists were predictable and didn't add to the tension of the story. The fluidity of the film was stagnant, unable to decide how much of its drama would be centered around the "is she a killer" aspect that floods the runtime.

The bigfoot plot is so secondary, not only would I say it was hardly a subplot, it's practically inconsequential to the story that appears to be the desired events meant to be conveyed. Sure, there are plot points that seem to need the presence of bigfoot, but at the same time, the focus on the two women's tumultuous relationship only dilutes any use of the cryptid.

The acting was uneven throughout, with some scenes feeling like cold first-takes in which they were dry runs of the source material before shooting. Yet others had the passion and intensity you would expect from a film that is 90% the two leads exchanging volatile moments. Most scenes are poorly edited, which certainly don't help the actresses in the their portrayals.

The plot was predictable from the beginning. Too much of the story's progression is hinted at in an up-front fashion that completely kills any need for tension or psychological cat-and-mouse. The mystery plot really isn't necessary at all, and kills moments in the climax that would otherwise be 10 times more powerful.

There is a difference between a slow-burn horror film and one that doesn't feel like a horror film at all. For a majority of the runtime, Monstrous feels more like a dark drama. It lacks the tension and atmosphere that even the most moody and subtle horror films manage to exude. I would argue that there is a subversive thriller hiding in this film, even outside of the unnecessary bigfoot elements, but it is so blunt, dull, predictable, and bland that it completely misses the mark.

Having given my take, there are plenty of people who appreciate this film for what it was out to achieve. It is certainly something different. But unlike, say, The Wolf of Snow Hollow, this kind of different just didn't work for me, personally. And for that reason alone I wouldn't take this review as any level of an objective, definitive conclusion. Perhaps in this case it is best to judge on your own.

Horror Rating System

Horror Qualifier: 7/10

Horror Quality: 3/10

Film Quality: 3/10

#monstrous #thewolfofsnowhollow

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