Monstrous (2020) Movie Review

Director: Bruce Wemple

Writer: Anna Shields (Screenplay)

Starring: Anna Shields, Rachel Finninger, Grant Schumacher, Hannah McKechnie, Catharine Daddario

Plot: 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.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Spins the Bigfoot Myth on it’s Head

Story: Monstrous starts as we learn about the small town of Whitehall, a location that has declared Bigfoot the town’s animal, which has also seen a string of disappearances of young women, with people searching for answer behind the mystery.

When Sylvia (Shields) and Jamie (Schumacher) are searching for their friend, they make a connection with Alex (Finninger) they look to head to Whitehall, knowing Alex knows something about mysterious disappearances in the area, as they look to solve the mystery.

Thoughts on Monstrous

Characters – Sylvia has lost a friend in the bigfoot area, she has always wondered what happened, with her best friend Jamie helping her with the investigation, she agrees to go on a road trip to the area in search of answers, while looking to tackle her own demons from the past. Alex is the mysterious person found on the internet who is looking for a ride back to Whitehall, while the friends think she is will a guy, Sylvia is relived to see it being a woman and goes on the journey with her back to her home. She expects honesty knowing she is taking just as big of a risk travelling with a stranger across the country, but the two connect. Jamie is Sylvia’s friend that has done more research on the disappearances, connecting them to bigfoot in the area, arrange the meeting between the two, but bails last minute.

PerformancesAnna Shields does give us a strong leading character, she brings the vulnerable side of the personal demons, while the reluctant curiosity required to learn the truth. Rachel Finninger brings us a confident performance that shows the freedom of her character, while being in control of each interaction between the characters. The rest of the cast don’t get as many scenes to shine, while filling the supporting roles well.

StoryThe story here follows a woman that joins a stranger on a cross country journey to investigate a string of disappearances surrounding the mystery of bigfoot. Here we have another look into a bigfoot story, we know the mystery about bigfoot, so we need to learn something around it, which is where we go with the disappearances that could involve it. We do get a slow moving road trip movie, that follows the two strangers learning about each other, while everything do get turned on its head with what we are expecting.

HorrorThe horror does come from different moments of injury, with the bigfoot presences looking the most menacing we have seen in a long time.

SettingsBeing a road trip movie, we do see our characters travelling a lot, until we get to the cabin in the bigfoot area, we get the isolated away from the world feeling required for extra horror.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well, we see a lot more of the aftermath of injuries, which all look brutal along the way.

Scene of the Movie – The first look at Bigfoot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The road trip side isn’t as engaging as the cabin part of the film.

Final Thoughts This is a bigfoot film with a twist that does feel fresh, it doesn’t hold back on the violence and gives the bigfoot a strong image that continues to add the mystery about the creature.

Overall: Nice Bigfoot Twist.

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – K – Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) Movie Review

Director: Sam Liu

Writer: Brian Azzarello (Screenplay) Alan Moore (Graphic Novel)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Tara Strong, Ray Wise, John DiMaggio, Robin Atkin Downes

Plot: As Batman hunts for the escaped Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime attacks the Gordon family to prove a diabolical point mirroring his own fall into madness.

Tagline – The madness begins.

Runtime: 1 Hour 16 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Never Gets Going

Story: Batman: The Killing Joke starts with Batman taking Batgirl under his wing while tracking down criminals, this leads Batgirl down a dark path because the man they are hunting Paris takes a shine to her, showing how she can become vulnerable, forcing Batman to take her out of the loop.

When Paris is captured, it gives The Joker a chance to escape and reign terror on the city once again, targeting the Gordon family, making the battle against the Batman just as personal as ever.

Thoughts on Batman: The Killing Joke

Characters – Batman is committed to protecting Gotham, no matter what, if people help him and he senses danger for them, he will tell them to leave, he wants to be the only one that risks anything for the city, only this time he will return to battle The Joker as his next plan comes to play, with his own closest allies becoming the target. The Joker has been waiting and planning for his next battle with the Batman, we do dive into his past as an aspiring stand up comic with a pregnant wife waiting for him, he is drawn to the life of crime to make a different in the world, now he will do anything to make sure he gets what he wants. Batgirl has been working with Batman, she is learning on the job, which sees her getting the thrill out of fighting crime, which is the worry for the Batman, she gets drawn into her first personal battle, which is why Batman tries to get her out of the fight, until she becomes the latest victim of it all. Commissioner Gordon is working with Batman and even after everything he goes through, he wants him bought in the correct way.

StoryThe story here follows Batman going face to face with the Joker once again after his latest escape from the Asylum and targets the Gordon family. This is a story that does do a couple of things well, first diving into the Joker’s back story is interesting to see, having Batman in the mentoring role is good too, only it does seem to much of do what I say, not what I do. When it comes to the weaknesses, it starts off with the fact the Joker’s masterplan doesn’t seem that interesting or even made that clear, it could seem too dark for the usual, with certain parts of what the Joker does, seeming more about shock value over anything else. The length of the film is also a big question because it is later into the film before we even meet the Joker.

Action/CrimeThe action in the film is very basic, we could have seen a lot more from an animated movie, with the crime side of the film being more about trying to get to the bottom of what the Joker wants this time.

SettingsThe film is set in the locations you would expect to see the criminals active in, while we never seem to get to see Bruce Manor which is one of the more iconic locations for Batman.

AnimationThe animation looks top notch throughout, it gives the Batman films the look we are all familiar with too.

Scene of the Movie – Joker’s backstory.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Just not much going with the Joker’s plan.

Final Thoughts This is a basic Batman animated story which does everything it needs too, even if this one does try to push the boundaries at times.

Overall: Simple Batman film.

We Die Alone (2019) Short Movie Review

Director: Marc Cartwright

Writer: Marc Cartwright (Screenplay)

Starring: Samantha Boscarino, Ashley Jones, Baker Chase Powell, Darielle Deigan

Plot: A chance encounter dangerously intertwines the lives of three people with differing perspectives on love.

Runtime: 24 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Loneliness Shown Perfectly

Story: We Die Alone starts as we meet Aidan (Powell) who struggles to connect with women in everyday life, he tries dating apps, only to not follow through with the dates, but has a strong connection with work colleague Elaine (Jones) but when he meets new neighbour Chelsea (Boscarino).

When Aidan looks to show his courage to finally go through with a date, things go in a different direction that anyone had planned, showing us how life will leave people growing old alone.

Thoughts on We Die Alone

Final Thoughts We Die Alone is a very clever look at how difficult modern dating can be, showing us just how difficult it can be to make or take a chance on a connection, as you will never know who the other person truly is. We get three strong performances from Samantha Boscarino, Ashley Jones and Baker Chase Powell who all show us the struggles their characters are going through. We will see the story go in a direction you won’t see coming. One of the most entertaining way to look at short movies, is questioning whether it could become a full feature, at with this story, we could easily have a longer version, that doesn’t take away anything from the short version either.

Overall: Modern Dating Delight.