The Monster Project is a found footage/documentary style horror by Victor Mathieu & starring Toby Hemmingway, Justin Bruening, Murielle Zuker and Jamal Quezaire.
The story is simple to follow & surrounds a group of friends wanting to create a reality-type show based around ‘real monsters’. The idea being that they would interview people who claim to be real-life monsters.
Devon (Bruening) & Jamal (Quezaire) run a YouTube channel & come up with the idea of filming a show where they look for real monsters. They post an ad on Craigslist & get a surprising amount of responses so decide to screen a few candidates in a remote & dilapidated house.
Unfortunately for the group, they’re going to find out that monsters are real.
Now first things first, the similarities between this & Digging Up The Marrow are easy to spot but there are enough differences that ensures The Monster Project can stand out. Not always in the best way though.
Let’s talk about the style of filming first.
The Monster Project employs a number of different styles. Such as the conventional handheld video cameras, the more believable body cameras and the paranormal favourite of surveillance cameras. All of these combined does give the film a much richer sense of realism & for the most part it’s easy to forget that you’re watching a ‘found-footage’ horror.
It’s a pity that the latter half of the movie chooses to spend far too much time having people/monsters lunge towards the cameras.
This also raises the usual issue found with these kinds of movies. The question of why are they still filming when in mortal danger? I understand body cameras as they are strapped to the characters but the handheld stuff? Absurd but ‘par for the course’ within found-footage horror.
The film is fairly standard stuff until the monsters are introduced & while it attempts to build tension, the characters are far too bland for it to really work. It’s not helped by the bored looking cast & other then one particular ‘monster’ we’ve seen it all before & she ends up becoming quite annoying.
Once the film ramps up it’s far more enjoyable with a mix of CGI & practical effects. Both work depending upon what is happening at the time with the werewolf transformation standing out. It is disappointing though to see an amazing practical effect near the end being completely ruined by the obvious apparatus on display.
If you like your jump scares then The Monster Project delivers but does little else to frighten. Add that to the abysmal ending & it’s just not a film that lives up to its promising synopsis.
The Monster Project