***Official Selection – 2022 Glasgow FrightFest***
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.
The pastel-soaked costumes from Morgan DeGroff contrast perfectly with the thoughtful set and production design from Mars Feehery and Taylor Jean. The house has an era-perfect look, simultaneously possessing an eerieness that is hard to describe. The entire film is a genre lover’s dream.
Santino Barnard plays Cody with maturity beyond his years. Ultimately, Monstrous belongs to Christina Ricci. She is glorious as Laura. Navigating sexism, motherhood, and abuse, Ricci rides the emotional nuances of deep-seated trauma and grief. As a mother, her performance had my heart in my throat.
Assisted by clever editing, the final twist makes the script’s build-up more powerful. Monstrous morphs genres instantly, jolting the audience alongside Laura. This device results in a creative spin on loss and acceptance. It speaks to our coping mechanisms and unresolved trauma we all try desperately to hide.
In Theaters and On Demand May 13, 2022
Directed by Chris Sivertson (I Know Who Killed Me, All Cheerleaders Die)
Written by Carol Chrest (The Prophet’s Game)
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)
RT: 89 minutes