Shanghaied by her boyfriend—Blair Witch-style (only with sharp ‘n steady cinematography and no handheld POVs; an intelligently-written script and no actor improv)—Sylvia (screenwriter Anna Shields) leaves Lansing, Michigan, and meets up with Alex (Rachel Finninger), another social media curiosity seeker, to research a series of disappearances—including Sylvia’s friend—in the Adirondacks outside Whitehall, New York. Sylvia soon comes to discover the monster lurking inside Alex is more sinister than any Bigfoot lurking in the woods.
Monstrous is lensed by Bruce Wemple, a New York City-based director, producer, writer, and editor with two indie-features to his credit: After Hours (2016) and Lake Artifact (2019). After Hours was the recipient of Best Picture at the 2017 Philip K. Dick Film Festival, along with the Audience Choice Award at the 2017 Boston SciFi Film Festival, and Best Sci-Fi Picture at the 2017 Buffalo Fantastic Film Festival. Screenwriter and star Anna Shields is a New York-based actor who’s amassed twenty-five screen credits across various indie projects in a short nine years. Rachel Finniger is new to the acting world and most recently appeared on a 2018 episode of Law & Order: SVU.
Each brings a quality to the screen that’s above most of the indie-streaming films available in today’s digital marketplace. It’s appreciated that while the film is spiced with social media plot points in its first act, the proceedings didn’t degrade into just another found footage-POV potboiler about a search for Bigfoot. Since Monstrous is female-driven by two actresses for most of the film, one would think the film to be prefect programming fodder for the female-center Lifetime Network—but this heads above that channel’s usual damsel-in-distress flicks.
You’ll be able to stream or pick up a copy of the DVD of Monstrous on August 11. You can keep abreast of developments on the film at 377 Entertainment’s website and Uncork’d Entertainment’s Facebook page. We’ve since reviewed Bruce Wemple’s latest, the pseudo-sequel, Dawn of the Beast.
Disclaimer: We were provided a screener by the film’s P.R firm. That has no bearing on our review.