The Monster (2016)

the monster poster 2016 movie review
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Decent horror film

Lots of drama some of which is cliche

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Monster

Studio:  Atlas Independent

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  November 11, 2016

MPAA Rating:  R

the monster mechanic killed 2016 movie

The mechanic probably woke up from a nice sleep and got slaughtered…good job, lady

Lizzy (Ella Ballentine) and her mother Kathy (Zoe Kazan) have a tulmultous relationship of fighting, abuse, and anger.  With Kathy taking Lizzy to be with her father, it appears that they are going to put the past behind them and move on.  On a deserted road, an accident occurs that leads to terror.  Something is in the woods, and it is hungry.  With help allegedly on the way, Kathy and Lizzy must survive…but even if help comes will they live through the night?

Written and directed by Bryan Bertino, The Monster is a horror drama.  The film received a limited release in 2016 and released on streaming platforms.  It received mostly positive reviews.

The Monster is an odd movie in that it is a pretty balanced drama and horror movie.  The movie has the high drama of a family dynamic that has been destroyed and then straight up horror with an unexplained creature menacing the two main characters…and for the most part it works.

monster creature special effects

Wait…what is this thing?

The movie tries very hard to keep it balanced, but in that, it kind of skewers its audience.  If you wanted a hardcore horror movie, you have to deal with some heavy drama.  If you want a heavy drama, you have to deal with a monster movie.  I could have seen the monster just completely being metaphorical at the end, but the filmmakers chose to keep it a real monster (which I preferred).  I also felt some of the family drama just felt like a typical episode of Dr. Phil.

The cast is asked a lot in the movie.  Originally Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss was scheduled to star, but was replaced by Zoe Kazan.  Kazan does a strong job as the young mother who is often too into herself and her addictions while Ella Ballentine is also asked to do a lot to carry the movie and what is essentially the lead.  Both actresses are quite strong in a movie that has quite a range of emotions.

monster lizzy battles creature 2016 movie

Gee, your mom will be so happy you disobeyed her…again

I was worried that it was going to be one of those movies where we never really see the monster.  Fortunately, you do get a number of relatively clear looks at it.  It is afraid of the light, so they dodge the bullet that way.  It is an effective monster (it kind of looks like the monster from The Relic) but I always vote for more monster if it is an option.

The Monster has moments that are tense and good.  It has a little problems finding the balance in the script with its naturalistic storytelling.  The movie leaves a lot of unanswered questions about the creature since it makes no effort to explain it…is it a mutation, an alien, or something humans have just never encountered?  I’m fine with no answers in this sense, but I wouldn’t mind to see if the story could actually continue in some form…worst movies have had sequels.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response