The Monster (DVD) : Review

Film

A mother, Kathy (Zoe Kazan), and daughter, Lizzy (Ella Ballentine), breakdown en-route to Lizzy’s father, Roy (Scott Speedman). While stuck on a secluded, dark road they confront a terrifying monster.

Told as a series of flashbacks, while stuck in their vehicle, we learn of the sordid past of Kathy, how Roy left her, and the love and hate felt for Kathy by Lizzy. It becomes clear, that the monster the is now pursuing them, is also a metaphor for the demons of each character.

While the plot is straight forward, and the locations very limited, the film does manage to build tension. It provides enough drama to sustain a viewer whilst the monster creeps up for its next attack on those who are trying to assist the girls.

The Monster has a straight forward plot, which at first takes a bit of time to get to the actual monster part, but providing enough character development to evoke thought in the viewer, and in so doing, toss out a herring to the plot.

A pretty average horror, that will provide a bit of tension and thrills, to fans of the genre.

Disc

Overall, the disc is of a high technical quality, with a decent horror for the main feature.

The Monster is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video is encoded at a high average bitrate. There are no visible artefacts on screen. Colours are vibrant where applicable, with no visible bleed. Contrast is maintained at a fair level, with darker scenes (of which there are many) keeping their detail.

Viewers with the necessary hardware or software can scale up to a larger screen or higher resolution, should they wish.

Audio

Audio is presented in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and a 2.0 mix. Dialogue is clear via the centre speaker, with the front channels carrying most of the sound. The surround channels are used to expand the on-screen world, and further immerse the viewer in the story.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, with text links on the main menu to play the movie, chapters, and audio. The main menu is static, with accompanying music.

The chapters sub-menus each contain four colour, motion thumbnails. While these are numbered, they are not labelled, leaving some guesswork when trying to navigate to a specific part of the main feature.

The audio sub-menu has two text options, allowing one to select between 5.1 surround and 2.0 stereo.

Video on the sub-menus is highly compressed, showing many artefacts on screen.

Bonus Features

There are no bonus features on the disc, other than trailers for Collide, Beyond the River, and the game Lego World Undercover.

While these can be both fast-forward or skipped individually, they can not be accessed again via the disc menus.

Published by Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers. Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry. Catch him on Twitter: twitter.com/andrewgerm_za And IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm5390453/

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