Long time readers of Soulless Cult know that if you throw Bigfoot into a horror movie, I'm going to watch it, and no matter how shitty it is, I'm going to love it. That has pretty much always been the case until now, when I stumbled upon what turned out to be a monstrosity of a movie called MONSTROUS. After checking out the synopsis and the trailer, I honestly thought I was going to love the film and it honestly pains me to say I struggled to keep my eyes open the last fifteen minutes, and that's the only part of the movie where things actually pick up. The film feels ambitious, but honestly the whole thing just feels like it didn't know what it wanted to be. It feels like Bigfoot is randomly thrown in there to attract viewership and appear as a monster movie when it's really more of a psychopath movie; and the relation to the movie having Bigfoot in it is totally weak. Unfortunately the movie kinda flops halfway through and never really redeems its self until the very end, when you actually do get a decent Bigfoot appearance and kill, but it's not enough to really justify your time and money.
Monstrous follows a girl named Sylvia whose best friend Jamie has a bit of a Bigfoot obsession. His interest is shown in a particular area of the Appalachian Mountains where - as we will come to find out - one of their best friends disappeared after driving a stranger up there. There were rumors of Bigfoot sightings in the area, but Jamie also had suspicions about the mystery person who hired their friend to drive up there in the first place. A woman named Alex turns out to be the woman who needs a ride up to her home in an isolated part of the woods, and so under suspicion, Sylvia drives Alex up to her home in the middle of nowhere, where she ends up falling in lust with her and they hook up quite a bit. Once there, Sylvia begins raising even more concern once Alex starts acting a little more off and some dirty secrets of hers quietly come to light. Is Bigfoot the real enemy out in the woods, or is there something more evil - more human - out there causing all of these women to disappear?!
The film was written by Anna Shields and directed by Bruce Wemple, and honestly, story aside, the film looks fucking great. Shields also acts in the film as the main lead alongside Rachel Finninger, and their acting is actually killer. Finninger - who we'll learn starts off weird but turns out sinister - has what I've spoken so many times about that I love: the most subtle facial expressions that give a hint that something is just a little off. You'll notice throughout the first hour of the film, in some of her shots she has this amazing little facial expression that is just enough to let you know something is up; and I fucking love that. I don't want to take anything away from Shields, though - she has this emptiness yet fearful look in her eyes in a few shots in the film that will melt your heart, and it honestly speaks miles of what's going on inside of her head. Both women do a phenomenal job with their roles - I want to make it crystal clear that they slayed it in the film and that they aren't a part of the reason the film flopped for me. And it doesn't end there, the film has some really great shots and looks professional as could be; the only real issue with the film is its story that just don't seem to know where it wants to go, it feels lost.
Spoiler alert, but Bigfoot only really makes two appearances in the film: in the very beginning and in the very end, and honestly, in the beginning you're pretty much only seeing his silhouette. And in the end, you're pretty much only hearing him, for the most part at least. Hell, I don't even think he resembles the monster in the promo poster at all! But, the team behind Monstrous could not have chosen a better guttural snarl of the beast than what they went with. He sounds massive, he sounds feral, he sounds horrifying; everytime you hear his groans, I actually smiled at how fucking awesome it sounded. In the end, you'll finally see his face for mere seconds, along with one really amazing kill, but it pretty much ends there. Bigfoot is really just thrown into the woods as a diversion to the real madness in the film, which is the stranger Alex. She's got a dark history that the film unravels as it goes on, but it just plays out boring, predictable, and uninteresting. And like I said, Bigfoot is just kinda thrown in there. If he maybe had more of a tie-in or more on screen time, maybe the film would have been a little more appealing or been a little bit better. But in all honesty, I don't think I can recommend the film if you're spending any money on it; if it hits Netflix or Hulu and it's free then its maybe worth throwing on as background noise, but I don't see this film really taking off like Primal Rage or Cherokee Creek. The only real redeeming qualities would be the actresses and that one epic Bigfoot kill. The rest, unfortunately, made me ready for a nap.