Christina Ricci’s ‘Monstrous’ is Confusing, Frustrating and Plodding

Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer

Plot: Story centres on a traumatised woman fleeing from her abusive ex-husband with her seven-year-old son. In their new, remote sanctuary they find they have a bigger, more terrifying monster to deal with.

Review: I wanted to watch this movie for the simple fact Christina Ricci was the lead star. I’ve always found her engaging and as a kid being shy and a bit of a weirdo, her (most famous) role as Wednesday Addams was one of my favourites. Most recently seen in the deliciously good Yellowjackets as Misty, I saw the trailer for Monstrous and decided I had to see it.

This house doesn’t look haunted at all

The story itself starts off straightforward enough, with a woman name Laura (Ricci) taking her young son and fleeing to a rental property to start a new life. She seems well put together as she starts a new job and tries to get her young son Cody (played by Santino Barnard of Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, 8-Bit Christmas) to settle in to this new life by going to school and making friends. But Cody isn’t happy and his fears are heightened by nightly visits from a monstrous creature that emerges from the pond in their backyard. Is it real ? Or is this just a manifestation of his fears?

While director Chris Sivertson (All Cheerleaders Die, I Know Who Killed Me) does a beautiful job of bringing the 1950s era to life the pacing of this movie grinds the story to a halt. It’s not that the overall plot is a bad one, there’s simply not enough here to keep your interest. Once the twist is revealed and I’ll admit, it’s a good one, you’re just waiting for the conclusion hoping at least the finale would make up for the plodding length of what came before. Sadly it doesn’t, and the final act leaves you not just unsatisfied, but a bit frustrated and confused.

Guess who came to dinner…

If they had established Laura’s backstory more or spent more time with the supernatural elements instead of just sticking it in there to try and get a few jump scares out the audience, Monstrous would’ve been worth talking about. Instead what we have here feels more like a first draft of a script that was in dire need of punching up. In the hands of a writer like Mike Flanagan or James Wan I think this could’ve been more thrilling but as is, Monstrous is just another solid premise let down by its by-the-numbers execution.

Score 4 out of 10

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2755F829-2EEC-4A68-B6F7-F963F48C9D92 Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.

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