The Monster Project is an interesting take on monster movies, found footage, and mockumentaries. All rolled up into one entertaining horror treat!
The Monster Project is definitely fun to watch as a horror fan. I mean, various monster types get covered, but we also get the very strange “normal” people. The movie itself is about the making of a documentary. For this reason, you could easily argue that The Monster Project is, in fact, a mockumentary.
However, there’s also a found footage feel to it. Mostly because we get to see all sorts of things that are taped without it being for the documentary.
Only rarely did I think “Now, who the Hell would record that conversation?!”, but generally, a line would be said afterward that explained it. And honestly, that’s a lot better than what some other found footage movies have managed.
And then, of course, there are the monsters in The Monster Project making this a horror movie with elements of all three.
This also means that if you simply loathe either of the three (monsters, found footage or mockumentaries), then The Monster Project probably won’t be your cup of tea.
The Monster Project won me over with effects
If there’s one thing, I feel The Monster Project did extremely well then it’s the way special effects were handled.
You really wouldn’t expect this level of special effects in a feature film debut that doesn’t have a bigger budget. Of course, they work magnificently with lighting in this case.
Basically, we’re working with night-vision for large parts of the movie. And while it admittedly did annoy me (I like color or the aesthetics of black and white), then I appreciate how it boosted the effects.
I was literally taken aback with how well all the effects worked. And this made me pay more attention to everything going on.
Also, the entire premise is pretty fascinating; I mean, imagine placing an ad looking for “real monsters”. You would be contacted by all the freaks and crazy people. Then again, that does sound like the recipe for an entertaining documentary.
A very interesting overall cast
While I didn’t know many of the actors in The Monster Project very well, most of them were familiar to me. They probably will be to you as well.
Most of them have had guest-starring roles on TV shows or bit parts in various movies. For me, one of the absolute scene-stealers was Yvonne Zima. Of course, after finding out she played Geena Davis’ daughter in The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), I understood why she was strangely familiar. I still love that movie (and quote it as often as possible).
In any case, Yvonne Zima is nobody’s little girl in this movie. Instead, she’s the person who responded the ad because she believes she’s a vampire. And she’s actually pretty damn perfect in this role.
A very promising feature film debut
Even if I felt it could’ve been a bit shorter, it is a very promising debut from director Victor Mathieu.
Mathieu also helped write the script with Shariya Lynn and Corbin Billings. Both have just one writing credit prior to The Monster Project. Still, the story is interesting and keeps moving along at a very acceptable pace.
All three should certainly continue working on writing – or at the very least come up with these stories. Victor Mathieu and Shariya Lynn are behind the story, while Corbin Billings “only” came on board for the screenplay itself.
Victor Mathieu’s feature film debut premiered at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea on July 14, 2017.
The Monster Project will be out in select US theaters as well as on VOD and Digital HD from August 18, 2017.
Director: Victor Mathieu
Writer: Victor Mathieu, Shariya Lynn, Corbin Billings
Cast: Yvonne Zima, Justin Bruening, Toby Hemingway, Murielle Zuker, Jim Storm
A recovering drug addict takes a job with a documentary crew. The plan is to interview three subjects who are all claiming to be real life monsters.