Director Stewart Sparke and screenwriter Paul Butler, re-team to bring another horror tale after their Lovecraft inspired The Creature Below (2016) with a project complete thanks to a Kickstarter-funded campaign, bringing creatures to life in Book of Monsters. They used a fun script along with a series of practical special effects, all in homage to creature features of the 80s and put a clever modern twist into the storyline. While movie originally released first in the UK by Draft Rift Films, it then achieved a wider audience with assistance of Epic Pictures distribution.
The story involves a teenager named Sophie (Lyndsey Craine) about to turn eighteen, and her best friends Mona (Michaela Longden) and Beth (Lizzie Stanton) who persuade, coax and highly suggest her to have a small party, yep you guess it spirals out of control, while her widowed, father Jonas (Nicholas Vince (Hollower )) is out of town. As the party gets louder, and a few twists and turns occur (trying to avoid some spoilers) a highly suspected partier named Pandora (Steph Mossman) sneaks upstairs with virgin Carl (Arron Dennis), she’s a succubus and using the secret Book of Monsters and releases many to invade the party and cause chaos, bloodshed and death. Sophie, also public about her own sexuality, she’s a lesbian, has a love interest Jess (Rose Muirhead), but at the same time is she teased about from mean-girl Arya (Anna Dawson) and her boyfriend, Carl (Arron Dennis). However, that’s not what has her on the outs with classmates, rather a mysterious cruel past, surrounding her dead mother. Then in this film a combination of two quirky characters exists, German exchange student Helga (Julia Munder) complete with subtitles and Gary (Daniel Thrace) who aids in providing some comic relief. Before it all ends, Sophie and her pals, show their womanly skills, and deliver a Charlie Angels meets Kill Bill. A few stereotypes play into the storyline, such as a goth girl knows all about the power of pentagrams while other scenes reference Gremlins (1984) namely a microwave moment and the movie Ghoulies (1984).
Sparke achieves an even keel throughout the film, maintaining a steady blood flow and killing especially in the second act plenty of entertaining of visual practical effects and creative monsters. The movie is not without flaws, namely the pacing feels slightly off at times. Few editing issues, but not ample to dissuade the audiences entertainment from the splatter, highly engaging monsters, smooth dialogue, but emotional aspects don’t always fit properly with the scenes and the maddening chaos. All of it showing a vast improvement from The Creature Below, and speaking of that movie, most of the cast starred that movie, which all works on the screen for the comradery and natural exchanges changes between the actors.
Overall, this production gives a wonderful send-up to the subgenre of b-movies, and doesn’t stumble with momentum near the end of the flick, rather it ratchets up the creative killing cycle and unleashes more from the Book of Monsters, especially hinting for sequel. It is a great treat for the creature feature fans of the genre, showing them killing and feeding their bloodthirsty lust for destruction while some lighted-moments spill over through the scenes.
Turning eighteen is going to be hell.
IMDb Rating: 5.1/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10