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The Monster

Posted on December 10, 2016

The Monster: Of Mothers and Monsters

Dawn Keetley

2016                R                     USA                Bryan Bertino             91 mins.

Grade: B

The Monster is written and directed by the extremely talented Bryan Bertino, who also directed and wrote the 2008 home invasion film, The Strangers—a film that would certainly make my list of the best films of the 2000s. The Monster shares some of the things that make The Strangers a great film: its plot is spare, focused (without distraction) on the palpable threat to its isolated protagonists; it succeeds in very large part because of the undeniable strength of its actors: Zoe Kazan and Ella Ballentine are just as brilliant in The Monster as Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman were in The Strangers. And, in both films, Bertino expertly weaves in a larger frame of meaning—religion and the presence of evil in The Strangers (as I wrote about elsewhere) and the complicated love (and hate) of mother-daughter relationships in The Monster. Read more

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