Book of Monsters is a horror/comedy film that was directed by Stewart Sparke, it released in 2018. It came to fruition due to a successful Kickstarter campaign. In a unique twist, backers were given the opportunity to make choices on certain aspects of the movie. Things like how a certain character would perish or the weapon someone would wield, a neat idea. Sophie’s 18th birthday party becomes a bloodbath when six terrifying monsters descend upon her house, intent on devouring the party guests and killing anyone who tries to leave.
At the start, we seeing a young girl named Sophie being read a bedtime story by her Mother. However, this is no ordinary book. It depicts horrific creatures, their attributes and the ways in which they may be defeated. Afterwards, Sophie’s mother is attacked by a monster and killed. Many years later, Sophie is at school with her friends. They decide to throw her an 18th birthday party at her house. Her father is going away so that she can have some friends over for a quiet night in but Sophie has other ideas.
The party begins and it isn’t long before things start to get out of hand. A girl who dislikes Sophie organizes a strippergram in an attempt to embarrass her. Soon after some bloodthirsty monsters crash the party and begin to slaughter people. Sophie must band together with her friends and use the book of monsters as a tool to defeat the beasts.
Will she survive?
Book of Monsters is one of the best low-budget horror films that I have ever seen. The whole thing is a massive homage to a host of classic horror movies from the 80s and beyond. It’s abundantly clear that it is made by fans of the genre. I was very impressed by its inventiveness and the ambitiousness of it all.
The effects are what you might expect from a film with a budget of less than £50,000. Still, they are all done practically and I’d take that over CGI any day. You can tell that a lot of effort has gone into making the gore effects look as detailed and realistic as possible. Book of Monsters doesn’t hold back, there is buckets of blood with plenty of imaginative mutilations. Also, the book itself is really well crafted which is great considering it’s highly important to the plot. The monsters themselves look decent. However, many of the effects look like they are fresh out of a Halloween store.
The performances from the main cast are very good considering you’d usually get below-par performances in these types of films. It’s a little hit and miss in that department, especially from background characters. Lyndsey Craine is good but she delivers certain lines with a lack of emotion which is a shame. You learn very little about any of the characters anyway so don’t expect to care if any of them survive.
One of the best things about Book of Monsters is that it never feels boring. The narrative is simple yet solid and it manages to keep up the momentum throughout. It even gets a few laughs whilst some jokes miss the mark. I’m not sure if it was intentional or not but some of the actors playing supposed 18 year olds gave me a good chuckle. Also, since when are 18 year olds still in high school in the UK?
The ways in which some of the monsters are dispatched is pretty lame. It’s far too easy as they simply just stand there and don’t put up much of a fight. Near the end it attempts to explore the origins of the book with some backstory about her mother but still leaves too many unanswered questions.
Overall, Book of Monsters is a fun time if you leave your brain at the door.
Book of Monsters
The Final Score - 7/10