Christina Ricci will always have a close association with the horror genre, namely for her child role as Wednesday from The Addams Family. Sleepy Hollow, and Cursed. As her roles matured, it would be inevitable that she would take on more maternal roles and this is where Ricci finds herself in her latest feature. Here she takes on troubled mother Laura, who is escaping with her son, Cody (Santino Bernard) from an abusive relationship.
Monstrous is set in 1950s America at a time that comes with all the trappings of a ‘housewife’, so when Laura tries to take up a new life in a lakeside town in California, she has to overcome all the obstacles that a male-dominated world would bring.
To make matters worse, Cody is struggling to fit into this new life and is ostracised from his school peers. Laura does her best to push Cody out of his comfort zone, but with little effect.
What director Chris Sivertson adds to the fold however is a much darker layer, lurking beneath the facade of Laura’s troubled woes. One that she has subconsciously buried to hide the ‘monstrous’ truth. And when some unknown entity starts to make its presence felt from the lake, Laura must find a way to protect her family or lose it all.
The trouble with Monstrous is that it falls too easily into predictability with the supposed reveal, all too easy to spot.
The narrative is a little too dry as well and feels flat, especially considering the subject matter.
On a positive note however, Ricci still proves she has the A game and adds plenty of weight to a deeply troubled character.
- Saul Muerte