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Monstrous - Movie Review

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Monstrous

The Adirondack Mountains are probably best known for their expansive forests and their treacherously high peaks.  There are also many wild rivers and streams perfect for traveling upon found around their bases.  Deep and darkly beautiful, this area of wildlife is still relatively primal and untamed.  It is the perfect place for black bears, moose, and . . . Bigfoot.  

"The horror here does not come from the easiest of places.  It’s cerebral and works to create something that is not soon forgotten and that's a credit to everyone involved with the film"


 

That’s right, something MONSTROUS lurks amongst the 46 High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains. Unpredictable and full of unexpected characters, this film delivers a very entertaining and unexpected Bigfoot film centered around two LGBTQ women who find themselves on a journey into dark woods and darker hearts.  Smartly-written and well-filmed, Monstrous does not disappoint as it flips the genre over and provides a unique spin on an old legend.

Welcome to Whitehall, New York, a rich and inviting landscape that is steeped in both history AND mystery.  Written by Anna Shields (who also stars in the film) and directed by Lake Artifact’s Bruce Wemple, Monstrous delivers the scares and the drama as Bigfoot (performed by Dylan Grunn) remains on the fringes, allowing our characters and the mystery ample time to expand as the howling in the woods gets closer and closer.  But don't go in expecting this film to be about characters trapped in the woods.  That's not its territory.  

Playing up the mysterious angle, the film opens on a dark night as two women driving down a long stretch of highway hit something small, hairy, and human-looking.  An even taller humanoid shape is there, too, and it is none too happy about what has just happened, so it carries off Haley (Catharine Daddario), leaving Alex (Rachel Finniger) alone to pick up the pieces.

Fast forward THREE YEARS LATER and the mystery of Haley's disappearance has only grown because now there are more missing young adults.  All of this leads toward a climactic finale as motives are questioned and stories questioned.  Exactly what happened on that night?

Jamie (Grant Schumacher, who makes the most of his character by adding lots of heart and humor), a Bigfoot and Taco Loco enthusiast, abandons his friend Sylvia (Anna Shields, Little Bi Peep, The Executioners) due to a bad case of Taco Loco food poisoning, forcing her to journey with Alex (the last person to see Haley alive)  to find out what happened to their friend.  Sylvia soon learns that hiding in the woods is an evil more sinister than she could ever imagine.Monstrous

Co-starring Hannah McKechnie, Catharine Daddario, Dylan Grunn, Peter Stray, Rick Montgomery Jr., and Thomas Brazzle, Monstrous takes its Squatch-tracking seriously, even if the monster at the center of the thriller makes only a few appearances throughout the running time.  You’re going to remember each and every attack, but - damn - that’s really NOT what this film is about.  The mystery is much more than what is alluded to with that poster.  

Monstrous primarily concerns itself with two women trying to figure out what or who is behind the disappearances.  We don’t mind, though, because the road trip is both intriguing and effortlessly scenic as the mystery and the chemistry between Shields and Finniger grows.  As at odds with each other as they are, it’s no secret that they like each other, too.  While their bond strengthens, what follows is an atmospheric thriller that is far more effective than being advertised as and that’s due to the creativity at work here.

The horror here does not come from the easiest of places.  It’s cerebral and works to create something that is not soon forgotten and that's a credit to everyone involved with the film.  

Monstrous premieres On Demand and DVD August 11 from Uncork’d Entertainment.

4/5 stars

Monstrous

Blu-ray

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Monstrous

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
86 mins
Director
: Bruce Wemple
Writer:
Anna Shields
Cast:
Anna Shields, Rachel Finninger, Grant Schumacher
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Something is Out There.
Memorable Movie Quote: "There's something else out there."
Distributor:
Unork'd Entertainment
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 10, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
On Demand and DVD August 11.
Synopsis: A young woman goes searching for answers after her friend mysteriously vanishes in Whitehall, NY, an Adirondack town known for its Bigfoot sightings. She quickly learns that hiding in the woods is an evil more sinister than she could ever imagine.

Monstrous

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