The traumatic fallout from an abusive relationship is something that has been done before plenty of times, trying to overcome something that can have such a major hold on you not an easy thing to achieve. Chris Sivertson's Monstrous takes a stab at telling such a story within the horror genre and the results could not be more mixed.

Story centers on a traumatized woman (Christina Ricci) fleeing from her abusive ex-husband with her 7-year-old son. In their new, remote sanctuary they find they have a bigger, more terrifying monster to deal with.
Firstly, the aesthetic from the off is so pleasing for this film, the production design bringing the 1950s to life in such a vibrant manner, while the crisp cinematography splits the idyllic location between a place of sanctuary and a new home of terror for the mother and child.

It's a shame that it's the writing and directing that lets the film down as much as it does. Carol Chrest writes while Chris Sivertson directs and neither do enough in their department to make Monstrous truly stand-out as a film. It's all very underdeveloped, even when the monster continues to make appearances, who gives off serious T-1000 vibes at times.

Christina Ricci is the shining light of the film, delivering a performance that certainly excels the screenplay a little. The monster itself is brought to life rather impressively, some of the at times hokey effects feeling like a tribute to the monster films that would have come from the era it's set in.

While Monstrous features a solid performance from Christina Ricci and is easy on the eye, it's the narrative where the film falters, aiming high yet shooting low for rather subpar results.



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