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04.26.2017
Monster, The (2016)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger
01.26.17

Monster, The (2016) Mother and daughter Kathy (Zoe Kazan) and Lizzy (Ella Ballentine) have a lot of problems, most of them coming from the mother. Kathy is an alcoholic with very little emotional control and for most of the time it seems as if her young teenaged daughter takes care of her, whether it be waking her up in the morning so she doesn't sleep all day or comforting her on the bathroom floor after she's had a night vomiting in the toilet. This particular day Kathy is driving Lizzy to her fathers and she suspects her daughter isn't going to want to come back to live with her. It's a long, four-hour drive, though, so a lot can happen. And it does. This begins with a tire blowing, hitting a wolf and crashing into some trees in a rural area. They call a tow-truck and wait. They investigate the dead canine-and it looks as though it had been in a fight before they struck it. In fact, there's a suspiciously large tooth Kathy pulls out of it's carcass. The tow-truck driver arrives (Aaron Douglas of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA). He's a little weird and they two women are suspicious of him-until he's attacked by the unseen creature which rips his arm off and flings it onto their windshield. Then, the ambulance shows up and they think they are safe-until the creature, more vicious, strikes again. In the next few hours they have quite a battle to endure...

This is an excellent, very straight-forward monster movie. Not a lot is put in explanation of the creature-it's basically about how these characters will survive. What I liked best is that the monster is not CGI but created with practical special effects, something I haven't seen in a long while. It reminded me of the first ALIEN movie and succeeds in giving the creature more substance and making the movie more real. Also, THE MONSTER is worth checking out for Ella Ballentine's performance-this kid is a great actor. Recommended.

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