The Monster Blu-ray Review
“The Monster” is one of 2016’s better horror films.
“The Monster” revolves around a divorced deadbeat mother (Kathy) and her smart daughter (Lizzy) whose relationship is strained to say the least. Lizzy feels her mom is irresponsible (which she is) and that she is often more of an adult than she is (also true). While the two hit the road in order for Lizzy to stay with her dad, Kathy gets in an accident after they hit a wolf. Stranded and waiting for help, the mother and daughter discover they are not alone and that something is lurking in the woods next to the road. Something the title blatantly suggests.
To me, director Bryan Bertino’s “The Strangers” is easily one of the 5 best horror films of the best 17 years so it should be no surprise that I was interested to see his latest film. “The Monster” may sound generic and to some degree it is as it’s a simple and predictable horror film about survival, redemption, overcoming obstacles, and family. Through all of that, however, it still manages to work due to its intensity, strong performances (which I will get to in a bit), and memorable monster. This isn’t a CGI monster, mind you. This is a well designed practical creation which I greatly appreciated. The fact that this slimy creature is in your face (so to speak) really made the movie that much more effective as you felt like it was a legitimate threat and not some non-scary CGI creation.
As I mentioned above, the performances by Zoe Kazan and Ella Ballentine really stand out here. Kazan (who should be in way more films) does not treat this like a mere horror film and really goes all out in this role. Likewise, young actress Ella Ballentine shines here as she has some tough material to work with. Together, these two actresses have real chemistry and are entirely convincing as a mother and daughter working through some challenging stuff emotionally and physically.
Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. How does it look? This disc boasts a crisp transfer.
Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? An effective track that delivers what a good horror film track should.
Extras include a Digital copy, Lionsgate/A24 trailers, and a featurette titled “Eyes In The Darkness” which contains film clips, interviews, and set footage.
Overall Thoughts: “The Monster” is by no means perfect, but it’s better than most horror films as of late. Hopefully, it will find more of an audience on home video.
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