[FilmQuest Fest 2023 Review] HOW TO KILL MONSTERS

HOW TO KILL MONSTERS comes to us from co-writer Paul Butler and co-writer/director Stewart Sparke, who both worked together on their previous film, Book of Monsters.

HOW TO KILL MONSTERS starts at the end of the story. No, not in a Tarantino kind of way. Literally. The credits roll after we see the final girl, Jamie (Lyndsey Craine), being escorted out by police after the massacre of all her friends. The end.

Wait, no, it’s the beginning! Jamie is then taken to the police station where she tells her harrowing story of an ancient evil, a bloody ritual, and the key to unlock a world full of horrifying monsters, which the cops easily laugh off. Obviously, to them, she’s the killer, telling a tall tale to look innocent. However, when a strange artifact is found at the crime scene, maybe it’s not as unimaginable as it seems…

HOW TO KILL MONSTERS is a fun romp of a film. Deliberately cheesy and over-the-top, it’s an homage to 1950s creature features as well as a nod to Lovecraftian horror. HOW TO KILL MONSTERS won’t make you stop and ponder the universe, but it will throw fake guts and blood at you along the way. It easily serves as a perfect film for a party of friends or a silly date night.

Lyndsey Craine is perfect in her role as the chainsaw-wielding, blood-splattered final girl, bringing enough innocence and jadedness to the role. Arron Dennis and Daniel Thrace play cop brothers trying their hardest not to be the bumbling fodder to the monsters. Along for the ride is a hen party (portrayed by Fenfen Huang, Juné Tiamatakorn, Michaela Longden, and Louella Gaskell) who were arrested for their bridal party shenanigans.

The creature effects were fantastic and incredibly fun. The monsters seen read as mixes of Audrey II ala Little Shop of Horrors, Cthulhu, and Jim Henson abominations. You can tell that HOW TO KILL MONSTERS really focused on the special effects and the monsters as there were seven people in the art department, five people in creature special effects, two in the visual effects team, and eleven (!) credits for sound. Solid kudos to every single one of them. The creativity and energy of the effects shine brightly, being an absolute gem of larger-than-life monsters and effects.

The acting, writing, editing, and cinematography are all a delight, bringing a campy experience and an enjoyable story. Sometimes you just need a silly monster flick, a big bag of popcorn, and to turn off the world for a while. HOW TO KILL MONSTERS is that flick.

HOW TO KILL MONSTERS played as a part of the 2023 FilmQuest Festival.

J.M. Brannyk
Movie Reviews

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