The latest in a line of “mockbusters” from no-budget studio Asylum, Monster is a take on Cloverfield. If it shows anything, it’s what Cloverfield could have been if it was done completely wrong. This is a miserable, hard to watch, impossible to follow illogical mess that is as terrible as anything else Asylum has dumped onto store shelves.
The only positive to come from this junk are the performances of the two lead females. Sarah Lieving and Erin Sullivan do what they can with this hilariously pathetic script. Most of the dialogue concerns what to do with the camera, or fighting over what should or should not be filmed. Other actors plod through their roles as if they’re in a YouTube video.
Directly ripping the style of Cloverfield, the film is shot on what must be the most sensitive handicam in the world. The video artifacting is not only completely unbelievable, it always manages to kick in before or during the “monster” attacks to block the horrific CG used to create it. Viewers are never given a full view of whatever this thing is supposed to be, just random tentacles which lead you to believe it’s some kind of giant squid (that runs around on land).
Action is cut with no flow. The camera constantly stops filming at random times when things get heavy. It’s impossible to get a feel for what’s going on, and the actresses end up in various locations without a sense of time or place.
Scenes of apparent panic are unintentionally funny, as the cast lies in the streets with obviously fake added screams, yet no one else is around them. There is no sense of the scale of this “disaster” and the miserable special effects used to create planes or helicopters in the background don’t help. Buildings look completely unharmed, but the digitally added smoke coming from them is supposed to show how much damage has been caused.
A significant number of shots are lifted from Cloverfield almost exactly. Instead of the Statue of Liberty rolling down a street, you’ll see a car. Running down a series of steps looks pulled directly out of Cloverfield.
To keep with the style of filming, some of the dialogue is almost unintelligible. Background noise filters out the characters speaking on a regular basis. Given how stretched out this thing feels due to repetitive writing (it’s constant crying or whining about the camera), it’s even harder to watch. There are no subtitles or captions on the disc either.