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Saturday, March 30, 2019

Review: Book of Monsters

Director: Stewart Sparke
Screenplay: Paul Butler
Year: 2019

Synopsis: Sophie’s 18th birthday becomes a bloodbath when monsters descend upon her house and start to devour the party guests. Sophie and her friends must rally together to send their party crashers back to hell.

“Book of Monsters” starts showing us our protagonist Sophie during her childhood while her mother reads bedtime stories to her from a book most parents would think twice before reading to their kids from it. As it is expected when you read from books as weird as this one, the scene ends with the killing of Sophie's mother by a strange and bloodthirsty monster. This book shows up again later in the movie, and how the title suggests, it plays an important role in the story. In the next scene, we fast forward and meet Sophie during her adolescence.

In these scenes we start to know the rest of the principal characters, although their names and background are not important, only the horror movie cliché their represent: the popular kid, the weird kid, the virgin, etc. Later we get to Sophie’s birthday party, where it all goes to hell. Here we see how bloodthirsty monsters start arriving at the house and it becomes a gorefest. The movie changes from a teen drama to a human butchery in the blink of an eye and it is greatly entertaining and makes you think how is it possible to enjoy so much this exhibition of unmeasured violence.

The special effects, as well as the costumes used for the monsters are, for a low budget movie, fairly good. What I liked the most about “Book of Monsters” is that it is a movie in which its team is aware of its budget and instead of trying to disguise or hide their deficiencies, this movie throws them at your face and makes them fun. The screenplay by Paul Butler (“Nothing Man”) alongside the direction by Stewart Sparke (“The Creature Below”) manage to create a fun moment even in the most absurd of bloody parts of the movie, to the point in which the can be dismembering someone and with a single line of dialogue can make you crack. As a fun fact, this movie allowed that the people who donated movie for its productions could choose some deaths and weapons to be used in parts of the movie, which explain some parts that are absurd but curious, and why not, entertaining.

Another element that I liked how was used was the sound. Beyond the music, sound effects are sublime and can change the direction of a scene and in some instances have more personality than some of the characters. In the acting compartment, it can be said that the cast composed by Lyndsey Craine (“The Creature Below”), Michaela Longden (“Audax”), and Lizzie Aaryn-Stanton (“The Good Neighbor”), among others, do a decent job, that at least is not out of place with the campy and parodic tone of 80’s horror movies.

“Book of Monster” is an entertaining visit to the macabre and gore. The best thing about this movie is that it does not try to disguise itself as something it is not, and its whole purpose is that the viewer has a good time, and this it does greatly. Instead of betting for a complex screenplay or a deep character development it settles for giving the minimum necessary to reach the fun parts. They make out the most of every absurd thing to make the viewer laugh, even in the bloodiest moments. “Book of Monsters” is highly recommended from my part for those horror fans looking to have a great time.

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