From Dark Rift Films and Dread Central comes a delightfully gory and action-packed horror film filled with everything we love about horror: terrifying monsters, attractive women, an evil book, pentagrams, a mysterious backstory and - oh yeah, lots and lots of blood. BOOK OF MONSTERS recently hit video streaming services after its successful kickstarter helped get the ball rolling, and it is one hell of a non-stop monster-bashing fest as our heroines (and Gary) battle for their lives against some of the most ghastly and hideous creatures come after them. Written by Paul Butler and directed by Stewart Sparke, Book of Monsters is a little bit comedy, a little bit action and a whole load of horror, and it's one of those films that may start off pretty tame and slow, but in a matter of seconds, the story is flipped upside down and you are thrown into absolute chaos that doesn't end until the final scene. The film grabs you and doesn't let you go until the credits roll, and the madness Butler has written into the film is so goddamn awesome it's almost hard to put into words. This is one film that definitely caught me by surprise with how good it turned out to be, and I can't recommend it enough to be your go-to horror flick this Friday night.
The story told in Book of Monsters isn't really anything we haven't seen in horror before, but what makes it such a great film is the way the crew told this story. The film kicks off with a young girl being read a monster story out of a tattered, hand-drawn Necronomicon by her mother at bedtime when suddenly, her mother is dragged under the bed by a monster and killed while the young girl is laying on the bed above. Fast forward a few years and its the eve of Sophie's 18th birthday, and she's throwing a party at her house that a ton of people end up coming to. Without giving too much away, basically an occult-style ritual goes down and a gang of five terrifying beasts are summoned and it all goes downhill from there for the teenage party-goers - and by downhill I mean blood fest. A whole slew of the attendees are slaughter on location and it's a beautiful display of good, ol' fashioned monster-on-man kills. There's a whole lot of chaos going on as teens are being chased out of the house and into the woods trying to escape their fate: death. Sophie and her friends must team up to decipher the hints written in the margins of the book to help destroy the monsters, end the ritual and restore order to the world. Oh, and it has to be done before midnight because once the clock chimes and she turns 18, she is to be sacrificed which will release all of the monsters in the book unto the world. The story line is fucking awesome, and almost feels like a clash between the classic Evil Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Cabin in the Woods, and between the monsters, the action and the blood, you're in for one hell of a treat from Book of Monsters.
Sophie (Lyndsey Crain), Mona (Michaela Longden) and Beth (Lizzie Aaryn-Stanton) make up the core that the film is based around, and these three young women go from seemingly innocent outcasts to badass, weapon-wielding monster slayers over the course of the movie, and you'll find yourself rooting for their success almost from the get-go. While you may not connect with Mona and Beth as much, it's hard not to connect with Sophie after watching her lose her mom at such an early age to a monster under the bed - a fate that Sophie is mocked for in front of everyone at the party by the films bully. Once the girls put together what the hell is going on and why exactly there are massive, nightmare-inducing beasts killing their classmates in the living room, they become total heroes as they band together to put together the clues left behind in the physical book of monsters left behind for Sophie by her mother. Again, in an attempt to not spoil too much of the story for you, let's just say that while there isn't really too many twists and turns throughout the movie, there's definitely some "ah-ha" moments that tie the story together and explains why the night has turned into the blood fest it has become. Crain, Longden and Aaryn-Stanton absolutely slay their roles as the lead women in the film, and their performances do nothing but add extra awesomeness to the film. But what would Book of Monsters be without monsters?! I'm going to keep it short, sweet and to the point: if the awesome '80s style kills, badass trio of friends and the awesome story line don't do it for you, the monsters in the film most definitely will. They are big (and small!), they are scary, and they are deadly as fuck - all the ingredients for a sick monster movie. And let me tell you straight up: this is not one of those Cloverfield style movies where you see the monster for ten seconds and, even then, you can't tell what the hell they even looked like - oh no: Book of Monsters gives their beasts plenty of on-screen time for you to soak in their epicness and to bask in the fright as they rip poor Johnny to shreds in front of his classmates. With a name like Book of Monsters, you expect monsters and the film definitely delivers. But as for what exactly the monsters are and what they look like: you'll need to see the film for this one!!
From the cinematography to the soundtrack to the special effects, the team behind Book of Monsters killed it in terms of quality. It feels like a campy, cheesy '80s monster movie but with modern-day production and quality - it's definitely something I think fans of the genre will both note and appreciate. You can tell half way through the movie that this film was put together by horror fans, for horror fans from the way everything looks to the way it sounds. And both the quality and quantity of the kills you'll find in the movie are excellent; while it may not be anything we haven't seen before, there's definitely plenty of awesome shots and the team behind the special effects for the kills - as well as the monsters - knocked it out of the park. To put it simpler: every element of the movie is a piece of the pie that just comes together to make one awesome watch. There's so fucking much to like about it, it's hard to even find anything to hate on about it; like I said earlier, Book of Monsters blew me away and it is one movie that will undoubtedly be returning to my movie playlist soon. There's plenty of re-watchability and it would make for an excellent stay-in date night movie. The final verdict: see it, see it, see it! Worth both the money to buy and rent, and well worth your time watching it. I'm really hoping this film sees the success it deserves because I'd LOVE to see where Paul Butler will take a sequel because there's so much goddamn potential for it. Check this one out today!
Check out the trailer below for Book of Monsters, available now on video on demand services!