It’s All About the Clicks: Our Review of ‘Making Monsters’

Posted in Movies, VOD/iTunes/DigitalDownload, What's Streaming? by - October 15, 2020
It’s All About the Clicks: Our Review of ‘Making Monsters’

Co-directors Justin Harding and Rob Brunner’s horror/thriller Making Monsters is a true bottle movie. The film has about five main characters, and takes place in only three or four major locations. This is an effective technique to tell an engaging story while keeping the production budget manageable. 

Chris (Tim Loden) operates a hugely popular Youtube channel where he frequently pranks his fiancé Allison (Alana Elmer). After a chance encounter with Chris’ old friend Jesse (King Chiu), the couple’s friends Jesse and his fiancé David invited them to spend the weekend at their country home. Having arrived, David (Jonathan Craig) informs them that Jesse has missed a connecting flight and won’t return until the next morning. After dinner, the trio party all night with drinks, marijuana, and some other choice intoxicants. When Allison and Chris awaken, they find themselves in a nightmarish situation. 

This is a decent little horror film. It doesn’t re-invent the wheel, and nothing about it stands out as particularly spectacular, but it achieves what it’s trying to – give its audience some good scares. That’s all I require of a horror film. Phenomenal acting, editing, cinematography, etc., these are all added bonuses certainly, but even without those, if a horror movie can creep me out, I’ll call it a success. 

The acting in Making Monsters was hit or miss for me. I thoroughly enjoyed Craig’s David, who was delightfully goofy. Loden and Elmer share a fairly solid chemistry, and overall I enjoyed both performances. That written, both of them have a couple of daffy moments that didn’t work for me. Elmer in particular makes some faces that I’ll certainly give her credit for, as she’s swinging for the fence. But while I recognize that when we’re beyond scared there’s no telling how we would react, some of those faces came across as fairly comical. I don’t imagine they were meant to. The close-up shots don’t help to mitigate the silliness. 

I did take some issue with the film’s pacing. Sure, it has a somewhat tense cold open, but even at a tight 85 minute runtime, it still takes  time to find its footing. The movie doesn’t get particularly interesting until about the 40 minute mark. The first act is concerned with building up its characters and trying to get the audience onboard with them. Personally though, I never found myself connecting with these people on much more than a surface level. 

Still, once Making Monsters hits its stride, there are some genuinely scary moments. Full credit to the makeup team, because these makeup effects are top notch. Indeed, there were moments that gave me the creeps, as well as ghastly imagery that won’t leave my mind anytime soon. 

For the first half of the film I was unclear as to what was going on. Have patience. It will all get explained, and once it was, I found myself connecting with the movie a little more. 

It bears repeating that Making Monsters is nothing to write home about, but for a little, smaller budget horror film (a Canadian one no less), I would argue that it’s certainly worth watching.

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