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!
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.
The already minimal monster's screen time should have been even shorter since it looked very predictable and unpleasant. The acting wasn't a problem; at least, not as much as the sense that the monster storyline was unecessary. The emotional ride was the centerpiece.
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 scares finally arising at its 1/2 way point, its late transition makes these otherwise well done, disparate tonal elements unsmoothly integrated.