I was honoured to be invited to the preview of director Matt Shaw’s newest gore flick, Monster, when it screened in London. Having started out as a Kickstarter and Indiegogo project, Monster has come a long way thanks to crowdfunding and hard work. Based on the best-selling book of the same name, the indie horror details disturbing secrets of a seemingly normal family. All is not well with two parents who relish inflicting torment, not only on each other, but also on their unsuspecting victims, who are given as ‘birthday presents’ to their brutally deformed 7 foot tall son.
This cesspit of a relationship between Mary (Tracy Shaw) and Richard (Rod Glenn) thrives on violence and despair. Richard, a patriarchal abuser of his wife and son, is a psychotic man child who shows no sign of remorse, getting off on absurd and disturbing situations. Mary, seemingly the victim, soon shows her true colours, making her the perfect succubus and enabler to her psychotic husband and mentally ill son.
Kidnap, brainwashing and violence aside, this unusual couple seem to have a kink for party planning for the damned. Invitations are made, party attire is worn, presents are wrapped (willingly or not), and of course, wishes are made on the human birthday cake! This gruesome twosome are determined to ensure the party goes off without a hitch.
The cast and crew were extremely supportive of each other’s roles and work, truly empathising with how harrowing certain scenes could be. After the screening, I was lucky enough to speak to some of the cast, including Rod Glenn (Richard), Tracy Shaw (Mary), Laura Wilson (Emily), Mike Butler (Andrew) and Tony Cook (Jim). There was an overwhelming consensus that the characters had definitely left their mark on all involved in the making of this production.
I also managed to catch director Matt afterwards, who joked that he had already seen the film 22 times and sometimes questioned his own lewd and twisted ideas. Those who are not a fan of loud chewing are in for a treat with this film, as Mr Shaw makes noshing down on human flesh sound comically sickening.
Monster is about a “family bond” in the darkest degree, and the mania that surrounds the characters and their story is one that will stay with you for a while. For me personally, my love for the film spiralled as I found myself cackling like a witch at the most horrific and inappropriate scenes. This is truly raw British horror, and the relentless madness it serves up makes it all the more delicious.
Check out the trailer below and keep an eye out for this beast as it makes its way round horror festivals this summer!