Monday, January 30

film review | ‘Monstrous’: a monster comes to see me


Cristina Ricci in ‘Monstrous’. / CR

Cristina Ricci stars in a soft horror film indebted to the filmography of JA Bayona. It starts with enthusiasm but ends up becoming excessively cheating

Borja Crespo

The same week in which ‘Wednesday’ premieres on streaming, the spin-off of ‘The Addams Family’ directed by Tim Burton himself, the launch of ‘Monstrous’, a psychological horror film starring Cristina, coincides on the national billboard Ricci, who was the perfidious little girl of the Addams on the big screen. The iconic actress is the best of a film that has everything to interest the average viewer, not necessarily a fan of genre cinema, but wastes with its lost narrative a successful setting and the acting work of the leading actress -great in the recommended series ‘Yellowjackets’, by the way-.

Visually attractive, with an image that successfully recreates the 50s, with bright colors, the film presents the uncomfortable situation of a mother and her seven-year-old son, newly arrived at a house next to a lake. Both soon settle into the house, but not in the town. The neighbors, to whom they rent the house, are not exactly the height of hospitality and the little one does not adapt easily to the new school. In this scenario, a strange being that comes out of the lake tickles them, mysteriously relating to the offspring at first, of course, while we wonder about the possible reason why they have moved.

scary looking creature

In ‘Monstrous’ there is a strange creature with a scary appearance, but the real monster may be a man from whom the protagonist and her offspring are fleeing, an apparently controlling ex-husband who calls them insistently on the phone. Despite this raw material, there is no room for metaphor, not even in a vulgar way, because the story hasn’t even been spun since its second act. After a decent start, the film is hopelessly leaking until a worrying final outcome. Supposedly mental images, shoehorned in, show the growing paranoia of the traumatized mother, with a questionable lyrical sense.

The group is losing interest, despite the excellent expressive work of Ricci, who appears in the series ‘Wednesday’ embodying another role -worth the fact to see her these days with more brilliance-. The popular artist has not stopped working, lavishing herself on television. It’s a pity that in this long-format proposal of hers, her commendable gestural work has not been accompanied by a more glossy script and a look behind the camera with some talent, beyond aesthetics and photocopying of references. Signature credit Chris Sivertson, whose greatest achievement to date has been sharing the making of the bloody ‘All Cheerleaders Die’ alongside Lucky McKee (‘May’). Highlight the art direction and some dream moment. When the cake is revealed, in an expected twist, the house of cards completely falls with a loud crash, despite its cardboard condition.


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