MONSTER PARTY, the latest film from director Chris von Hoffmann (Drifter), centers around a group of friends who break into the wrong house inhabited by a rather peculiar family. The film stars Sam Strike (Leatherface), Virginia Gardner (2018’s Halloween), Brandon Michael Hall (Search Party), Kian Lawley (Before I Fall), Erin Moriarty (Captain Fantastic), Robin Tunney (The Craft), and Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck).
Casper (Sam Strike), Iris (Virginia Gardner), and Dodge (Brandon Michael Hall) are three teenage thieves who think they have hit the jackpot when they decide to steal from Iris’ employer, the Dawson family. Disguised as waiters, they attend an event in which the Dawson family is throwing a lavish dinner party. However, unbeknownst to them, this dinner party is anything but ordinary, as the Dawnson family have a much deeper, more horrific reason for their celebration. As the horrors unfold, the three friends must use every tactic available if they hope to survive the night.
I went into this film knowing absolutely nothing about the premise and was blown away by how much I really enjoyed IT. With that said, I’m going to do my best in not giving away any major plot points because I think the less you know the better the experience. What I really loved about this film was the unpredictability, and maybe that’s because I wasn’t familiar with the synopsis, but at every turn I wasn’t entirely sure what was going to happen, or who was going to be eliminated… That level of tension was truly unexpected and one that I welcomed with open arms. However, my absolute favorite aspect of this film was that nobody is innocent. Each character has traits that are unsavory, which ranged in extremity, but regardless, it was hard not to feel sympathy for particular characters and the cards that they were dealt.
In regards to the acting there was a wide variety of talent. As someone who was a massive fan of Nip/Tuck, I was overjoyed to see Julian McMahon portraying the head of the Dawson family. He does such a fantastic job conveying a character that is as vile as Patrick Dawson that it’s almost a bit unsettling. Another surprise was Robin Tunney, and what girl from the 90’s didn’t love her in The Craft and Empire Records? She played Roxanne Dawson, the wife of Patrick Dawson, and though her hands aren’t clean, it was hard not to feel sadness and hope for her character. As for our three thieves, each brought their own brand of acting which allowed their performances to illicit different reactions from the audience. Though not as strong in performance as McMahon and Tunney, they were still able to hold their own throughout the film.
For those who are looking for a film filled with bloodshed and carnage, I assure you that you’ll be in for a treat with MONSTER PARTY. Whether it’s someone getting sliced and diced or your typical decapitation, there is something for every gore fan out there. I’ll admit, some of the deaths were satisfactory due to how male entitlement plays a role, so even though I’m not the biggest fan of gore, I was okay with this. Actually, as a whole, I was totally fine with the carnage as I felt it went along with the film. The only issue that I had was mainly in regards to a reveal that happens in a secret room. I don’t want to spoil that reveal, but I felt like it didn’t do much to further the story. I think had we received more background on who this person was and why they were located in this area it may have helped in bringing importance to this character.
All in all, I really enjoyed MONSTER PARTY regardless of its few flaws. The story was engaging and took me by surprise, and the acting, for the most part, was relatively believable. I think horror fans are going to have a hell of a fun time with this film especially when the butchering begins. This is one film you won’t want to sleep on, so make sure you check it out On Demand and/or on Digital HD as well as Blu-ray and DVD.
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