After you endure the poor casting, unrealistic dialogue and unbelievable interactions between the mother-daughter duo, you're not too concerned once it tries to become a monster movie - metaphorical or otherwise. Snooze, pass.
Bertino fails again with two movies crammed into one where none of the parts work. The domestic drama bit could have worked on it´s own due to terrific actors and some heartbreaking scenes of parental abuse and neglect. But paired with a haphazard monster flick which is as boring as it gets, the whole movie tanks. I feel bad for Kazan and Ballentine who puts in a valiant effort only to be let down by a hack director.
Well done in its metaphor, but it doesn't balance its thrills and character drama perfectly, yet at least it tries to, even if it's only halfway successful. While the character drama is heartbreaking, and while the monster film elements are well orchestrated, but by the monster's very presence arising at near its 1/2 way point, its late transition makes these disparate tonal elements unsmoothly integrated.
The unfortunate recent trend of horror movies having metaphorical monsters continues!
The Babadook: the monster is a manifestation of grief! Lights Out: the monster is a figment of the mother's sick mind! Under The Shadow: the monster represents the terror of war and/or the terror of living under an oppressive regime! The monster in The Monster is the mother's monstrous addiction! Next: A Monster Calls and Colossal!
Although there's literally a monster in this movie - and very well designed monster - a monsters doesn't come just from the dark backwoods, but from the darkness of our own mind, our resentments, our disappointments and our weaknesses. And that's beautifully explored through wonderful performances of mother and child reunion. Almost perfect tension is ruined with cheap resolves, but still entertaining for one watch
A relationship between a mother and a daughter can be so painful. But, no matter how painful it is, a daughter always want to be with her mother, until to the point that she needs to walk into another step of her life, adolescence.