Story centers on a traumatized woman fleeing from her abusive ex-husband with her 7-year-old son. In their new, remote sanctuary they find they have a bigger, more terrifying monster to deal with.
Monstrous was directed by Chris Sivertson and written by Carol Chrest. The film opens with a very 1950’s Christina Ricci as Laura and her onscreen son Santino Barnard as Cody. Laura and Cody are heading to California.
They want a fresh new start. She arrives at a place to stay and we meet Mr. Langtree (Don Durrell) and Mrs. Langtree (Colleen Camp). Christina Ricci has such a range when it comes to films, she disappears into these characters.
Christina Ricci is so amazing in Yellowjackets. She makes any character believable; she becomes these fascinating people she plays. The fact that the movie is set in the fifties is interesting. Laura sends Cody to school as they adjust to this new environment.
It’s not always easy moving around, you sort of grow accustomed to the new and unfamiliar. Making new friends, investigating new locations. Meanwhile, Laura gets a job in an office with her fellow female co-workers typing away on typewriters. Typewriters are still amazing, even till this day. The sound of a typewriter when you write a letter or do some work. The smell, the amazing way the type writer brings out something different in you as a human being.
Laura and Cody share stories about work and school. Strange things continue to happen. Laura seeks comfort. I don’t know if they fully understood PTSD, depression, trauma or any type of mental health back in the day. Some people don’t believe Laura. That is so annoying because you know stuff is happening but people don’t believe and treat you like your crazy.
It’s so sad. The creature in Monstrous is just surreal. The special effects team and Chris did such an amazing job. The metaphors and deep dives into this psychological, trippy movie takes us on this ride. The cast is doing such a great job bringing depth to these characters.
Nick Vallelonga portrays Legionnaire, Rachael Edlow plays the Young Grandmother, Sally Elbert plays Grandmother. Neralda Bega is the Damsel in Distress. Peter Hodge is the Policeman, Don Durrell is Mr. Langtree, Colleen Camp is Mrs. Langtree, Lew Temple is Mr. Alonzo, Carol Anne Watts is Jane.
Such a great cast. The scenery and the house is a character within the film. This place where Laura and Cody were supposed to feel safe has become this insidious place for them. The lights flicker, Cody disappears and he is in tune with whatever is in the house. It’s scary because you’re not quite sure what kind of force it is at first.
The creature is a shape-shifting creature that is just cool. It’s terrifying and almost a bit like a sleep paralysis creature but I don’t think that’s what it is. It’s starting to take a toll on Laura. She tries to leave with Cody but they wind up staying after an emotionally calming speech from Cody. Laura decides they should sleep in the car instead of the house.
The fifties references, shows, commercials, and everyday life references were pretty cool to see. They truly put a lot of time into every detail of Monstrous. Laura tries to get spiritual help, and that doesn’t go too well. This movie has an emotional message, it’s powerful, and it shows what a mother will do to keep a child safe.
Laura goes through everything imaginable, and she has her own flaws, and moments where she wants to completely break down but she doesn’t. I found out that Christina Ricci went to film Yellowjackets right after making this film. It’s amazing the range she has. Her character in Yellowjackets is so unexpected. If you haven’t watched Yellowjackets, I highly suggest you watch it right now. Then watch this movie.
Laura does what most of do when we get stressed, she drinks, listens to music and tries to chill out. It’s not going well. I love that even though this movie has a few slow moments, they work and you get why they use these moments.
The underwater scenes are pure magic. I love underwater scenes. I would suggest watching Monstrous. Chris Suvertson did such a great job with this film. Carol Chrest wrote one hell of a story.
Christina Ricci (“Yellowjackets,” The Matrix Resurrections, Buffalo ’66, Casper)
Colleen Camp (Sliver, Clue, Die Hard With a Vengeance)
Santino Bernard (8-Bit Christmas, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, “Bing”)
Don Baldaramos (Suburbicon, “Castle”)
Nick Vallelonga (Green Book, The Many Saints of Newark, The Birthday Cake)
A terrifying new horror awaits Laura (Christina Ricci) and her seven-year-old son Cody when they flee her abusive ex-husband and try to settle into a new life in an idyllic and remote lakeside farmhouse. Still traumatized, their physical and mental well-being are pushed to the limit as their fragile existence is threatened.