Murder Me, Monster (org. title Muere, monstruo, muere) is a genuine monster movie with a monster unlike any you’ve seen before. Also, it is very much a dark horror movie with elements of drama. We caught it at CPH PIX 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
That’s right, the title of this movie isn’t just a play on words or a fancy title. This is an actual monster movie!
And really, the monster is very different from anything you’ve seen in a “serious” monster movie. It almost sounds like a spoof, if I was to explain it – which I will in the section labeled “spoilers”.
All the normal faces
While Murder Me, Monster is a monster movie in a quirky intersection of horror and drama, the cast probably isn’t what you would expect. The actors tend to have very normal faces. In fact, many of them have the kind of face you see every day.
I don’t mean they’re ugly or strange. They’re just very average and normal. You may notice someone’s unibrow or dark circles under their eyes. But other than that, they’re very much the people you pass on the street.
It works perfectly for this story and makes you feel like this could be happening in any small town. Because yes, this is very much a “small town” environment. And the actors deliver pretty perfectly when it comes to their respective characters.
Also, there is quite a bit of skin shown in the movie, but it’s very casual and relaxed rather than sexualized.
How about that monster?! *Spoilers*
It feels impossible to do a review of Murder Me, Monster without talking about the actual monster. When we watched a screening of this movie at CPH PIX 2018, we were fortunate enough that the director was there for a Q&A.
However, he was actually a bit reluctant to talk about the monster. He basically stated that it was pretty self-explanatory and other than that, it could mean whatever you wanted it to.
Basically, the monster has a tail which is essentially a very long penis. And its face is a vagina with teeth. Yes, that’s right.
The director stated that he wanted the monster to be made using practical effects. Digital effects for something like this would feel like “adding emoticons to Instagram”.
Also, he wanted the monster to be decidedly un-American (or rather “anti-capitalist”). This is why the vagina-faced and penis-tailed monster is slow and chubby rather than skinny and fast.
Well, mission accomplished.
Filmmaker Alejandro Fadel
I was really happy that we got to hear Alejandro Fadel (writer-director of Murder Me, Monster) talk about the movie afterward. Especially because he gave some very poignant and simple answers.
Like the brief moments where the lead character is dancing. Those were literally included to give the audience a break from all the gloom and doom of the story and surroundings. Again, it had exactly that effect.
Also, whatever came right after these moments, had a solid effect. I know this because I sat next to a guy (a stranger to me) who was very jumpy during the entire movie. All the little tricks meant to make you relax – and take down your guard – worked perfectly on him!
Alejandro Fadel is definitely not a filmmaker who takes the easy route. He likes to provoke and confront you, but also want to make sure you stay onboard for the entire ride. Murder Me, Monster may not be for everyone, but it certainly isn’t boring.
Murder Me, Monster (org. title Muere, monstruo, muere) premiered at Cannes Film Festival in May 2018 and is still playing at film festivals worldwide. Make sure you catch a screening if you’re in the mood for a different kind of monster movie.
Director: Alejandro Fadel
Writer: Alejandro Fadel
Cast: Esteban Bigliardi, Francisco Carrasco, Tania Casciani, Romina Iniesta, Victor Lopez, Sofia Palomino, Jorge Prado, Stéphane Rideau
Rural police officer Cruz investigates the bizarre case of a headless woman’s body found in a remote region by the Andes Mountains. David, the husband of Cruz’s lover Francisca, becomes the prime suspect and is sent to a local mental hospital. David blames the crime to the inexplicable and brutal appearance of the “Monster.” Cruz stumbles on a mysterious theory involving geometric landscapes, mountain motorcyclists and a mantra stuck in his head: Murder Me, Monster.