Monster Review

Monday 20 May 2024


Plot: After being abducted and taken to a desolate house, a girl sets out to rescue her friend and escape from their malicious kidnapper.

Film: Monster

Director: Rako Prijanto

Writer: Alim Sudio

Starring: Marsha Timothy, Alex Abbad, Anantya Rezky Kirana, Sulthan Hamonangan

This Indonesian horror film focuses on friends Alana and Rabin. After a brief time at the arcades, the pair are kidnapped and taken to an unnamed location. Alana is quick to escape from her restraints and is set on helping save her friend from the danger that has befallen them.

Horror films with little dialogue have continued to do well in recent years, with movies like Hush and the Quiet Place franchise consistently well received by audiences. However, Monster takes this a step further and besides grunts and screams, there is virtually no dialogue whatsoever. For a film to be shot in just one location, with very few characters and little-to-no dialogue is a bold choice, and while it's a huge risk from Rako Prijanto, unfortunately it doesn't pay off.

The film does a great job at creating an eerie atmosphere, and the music by Ramondo Gascaro elevates this tension to the next level. The shots are almost always filmed from Alana's perspective which makes for an interesting viewpoint and helps to build a connection with our main character.

The actor who plays Alana, Anantya Kirana, is a highlight and remains the shining beacon of light in Monster, in every way. For a child to dominate a film so heavily in the way she does is no small feat. 

Unfortunately, the entire plot feels unbelievable for most of the film, as the audience are expected to believe a child could overpower not just one, but two adults. With the traps and ideas she single-handedly comes up with, it feels somewhat similar to a horror adaptation of Home Alone.

Despite only being 80 minutes in length, it feels significantly longer because I personally don't feel the story was enough without any dialogue, and was therefore padded out with unnecessary scenes. However, you have to respect the director's innovative thinking. 

It's a shame as I wanted to love this film as it had all the key elements of what could have been a brilliant horror/thriller. However, it ended up feeling generic and too similar to other abduction movies. 

Review by Zoe

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