The Monster

3 Stars

There are technically two monsters in writer/director Bryan Bertino’s The Monster. There’s the inevitable creature that terrorizes young Lizzy (Ella Ballentine) and her mother Kathy (Zoe Kazan) as they’re stranded on a dark road on a rainy night. But first, there’s Kathy herself, an alcoholic mess who frequently lashes out at her daughter. Mothers showing up as the antagonists of a horror film is nothing new – from Psycho to The Babadook, horror’s never been shy about them. But Kathy’s messiness makes her an interesting addition to the genre, and watching how she can have some truly awful ideas for dealing with the impending danger she and Lizzy face can be just as frightening as the monster on the road. The Monster itself is pretty slight overall, but it does have some potential, and for hardcore horror enthusiasts, it’s worth a viewing.

The Monster • Rating: R (for language and some violence/terror) • Runtime: 93 minutes • Genre: Horror • Cast: Zoe Kazan, Scott Speedman, Ella Ballentine • Director: Bryan Bertino • Writer: Bryan Bertino • Distributor: A24

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