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There’s just something deliciously insidious in the power of simplicity…
While Monster Party truly makes no allusions to being anything more than trashy nonsense, it’s actually really well executed trashy nonsense which makes for a fairly simplistic but fun ride.
Three small time thieves (Sam Strike, Virginia Gardner & Brandon Michael Hall) specializing in home burglary pose as caterers for a fancy dinner party at the Malibu mansion of the extravagantly wealthy Dawson family (Julian McMahon, Robin Tunney, Kian Lawley & Erin Moriarty). However, their plan for the perfect heist goes horribly wrong when they discover that the Dawsons and their guests are actually a support group of recovering serial killers. When one of the addicts can’t resist the urge to attack and release that urge to kill, this simple cash grab becomes an all out battle for survival where no one is truly safe.
From first time feature writer/director Chris Von Hoffmann; Monster Party is a thin affair but it also has enough oomph behind it to make it a gleefully decadent genre romp.
It’s a thin…and I mean THIN narrative but Von Hoffmann deftly makes sure that he’s playing with as little as he needs to in order to maximize the story that he wants to tell. It’s a well shot and solidly crafted affair keeping the exposition and set up before we get to the setting of the ominous mansion to the bare minimum. This film is the definition of lean and mean and honestly that’s the only way this could have even remotely worked.
He has a keen sense at the necessary economies of the genre and coming from an extensive short film background he successfully translates this to the big screen and it’s a refreshing change given a myriad of upcoming and coming filmmakers who try to do too much. Von Hoffmann has a real leg up knowing how to deliver exactly what is needed in a film. He keeps us guessing and he keeps us cringing and with a horror movie do we really need all that much more?
The ensemble is solid, all be it unremarkable as this isn’t really a film about “character” development. That being said the likes of Julian McMahon, Robin Tunney, Lance Reddick & Erin Moriarty get to chew the screen as our bad guys opposite the generally unknown ensemble of young thieves who have found themselves in WAY over their heads.
The picture and sound quality on the Blu-Ray are actually pretty solid but sadly there are no special features on the disc.
At the end of the day, Monster Party works as a balls to the wall genre exercise that you just need to shut your brain off for and just embrace the ride that it wants to take you on.