Review of “The Monster” (2016)

A young teen girl named Lizzy is waiting for her mom to wake up. Impatient, she opens the door to her mother’s bedroom and demands that she gets up.

After getting ready, the mom, Kathy, and Lizzy, drive to see Lizzy’s dad, since it’s his turn to look after her. But on the way, they hit a wolf. Not only is the creature wounded, but so is Kathy. She has Lizzy call an ambulance and a tow truck.

When a man named Jesse arrives in his truck and tries to help Lizzy and Kathy, he eventually is silent. But it turns out a monster is pulling him underneath Kathy’s car until neither she nor Lizzy can see him anymore.

The film begins lighthearted, but obviously gets scarier later on. After all, it is a horror film.

The year the movie is set confused me a bit. There is a record player and print maps rather than a GPS. But Lizzy wears skinny jeans. 

I assumed it was going to be set the same year it came out, since many movies are like that. However, people used (and still use) smartphones and computerized GPS, whether they did/do it on their phones or car systems.

That being said, records have become popular as of 2022 (when I first saw this movie) as well as print maps. They might have gained popularity again in the mid-2010s, and I just didn’t know, though.

One aspect that stood out to me was the relationship between Kathy and Lizzy. The ways they acted and spoke to each other seemed a lot more like siblings rather than mother and daughter. Not only that, Kathy also looks young enough to be Lizzy’s older sister – more so than her mom.

She has a youthful face, bicolored hair, smokes, and dresses in a punk style. I almost thought the actress playing the mom was playing the teenage daughter. I looked up both the actresses who played Kathy and Lizzy, and the age difference is 18 years (she could have been cast with an older actress, who looks more like the mother of an older child – oh, well).

Besides the time when Lizzy demanded her mom to wake up, the way her mother reacts isn’t assertive enough. She also gets dressed in front of Lizzy, and has cursed at her a few times in an immature manner.

Overall, Kathy the mom was so naïve that if someone unfamiliar with the story or context behind it saw any scene, he or she could easily assume that Kathy is Lizzy’s older sister. Regardless of their unsophisticated relationship, though, Kathy was sympathetic and soothing when Lizzy was scared and crying.

I especially disliked it when Lizzy’s dad was nasty to her when she was frightened about what was going to happen. That was ironic, because earlier in the movie, Lizzy said that she liked her dad more – unless he changed by the time she saw him in this movie. I felt Lizzy’s pain more than ever when she cried after that and held her stuffed animal, something I’ve done after at least one of my parents yells at me. I even comforted her in my head.

But one thing that bugged me was when Jesse was stuck under Kathy’s car, and even in danger, and neither Kathy nor Lizzy would help him. I lost patience over that.

Another moment that stood out to me was when Kathy was knocked out in front of the toilet, in just her bra and underwear. Lizzy, who wore a longer top, but also no pants, snuggled with her mother. That made me cringe as I considered it to have gone too far. Even if they were fully dressed (or if Lizzy had pants on in addition), this scene would have still been too much, never mind that this is an R-rated movie.

More twists and turns occur, especially with the monster. Some surprises satisfied me, but others didn’t, which is standard for me when it comes to horror movies.

I rate the movie 3.5 out of 5 stars. This is actually unusual for me to give a scary film this kind of rating.

Would I recommend it? Probably. It’s not super-scary. I was surprised how easily I could handle it and even sit through the whole thing.

So, if you can handle a somewhat scary film, then you might enjoy The Monster.

Published by Sunayna Prasad

I enjoy writing stories, creating artwork, watching movies and TV shows, cooking, and traveling. These are the topics of my posts. I also publish books, where you can learn about them on my website, Be sure to copy and paste the link and subscribe to my newsletter on the email list button on the homepage.

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