The Monster

 FREE Screening / No Advance Tickets: Tickets available from Egyptian Theatre box office day of show starting at 6pm; 2 tix per person max.

West Coast Premiere

On a dark and dreary evening, a divorced mother is taking her headstrong daughter to see her father however a broken down car on a deserted road will see them facing a greater threat than each other: something evil and hungry…

Bryan Bertino’s brilliant foray into monster movies is the kind of tense madness that genre fans can only dream of. Blessed with stellar camerawork, excellent acting and a scary as hell monster, this is the film to make you look under your car before you ride!

Kathy is a divorced mother with an alcohol problem. She loves her daughter but has lost her connection with her due to one too many drunk nights and missed school events. When she is forced to drive Lizzy to her father, the two find themselves in a car, simmering with anger. It’s not long before a wrong turn finds them traversing the deserted country roads and as luck would have it, their car breaks down. As they wait for help to arrive, the two are blissfully unaware of the evil lurking deep within the wood: The Monster is hungry and it will eat!

Set almost exclusively in one location, Bertino’s tight, tense exercise in monster horror scores real emotional points with its two excellent leads: Zoe Kazan and Ella Ballentine excel as the mother and daughter who love each other but can no longer tolerate the other and it’s through the clever use of flashbacks showing the deterioration  of their relationship that Bertino creates the emotional impact needed for when the threat of the monster arrives.

It’d be foolish to not mention the titular monster: a beautiful, mainly practical creation that is sure to make those sfx-nuts in the audience drool at its’ frightening beauty. A ferocious beast whose motivations turn out to be more complex than you might think, it is as important a character as the mother & daughter duo and acts as a gnarling frightening heart of the film.

Monster movies never go out of fashion and Bertino’s effort is a stark reminder as to why: clever, frightening creations always lurk on the edges of celluloid, ready jump at us from the big screen and tear our faces off – the very reason why Beyond Fest is proud to present this original terror.

Evrim Ersoy

Plays in the Shudder Theatre @Egyptian

Director: Bryan Bertino
Country: United States
Runtime: 92 minutes
Year: 2016