Horror Movie Review: The Monkey’s Paw (2013)

Based off the short story by W.W. Jacobs, The Monkey’s Paw is less of a retelling of the story and more of a sequel. At least that’s how it comes across.

Directed by Brett Simmons and starring C.J. Thomason, Michelle Pierce, Corbin Bleu, Daniel Hugh Kelly and Stephen Lang. The film sees Jake (Thomason), who works at an industrial supply warehouse, inadvertently getting his colleague, Gillespie (Kelly) fired. Later, at a bar, Jake tries to apologise to Gillespie egged on by Tony (Lang) but doesn’t initially get the response he was hoping for.

Paw 2

The trio share a few drinks together before Gillespie gives Jake a dried-up monkey’s paw. He explains that it is supposed to grant the owner three wishes. However, he has never used it after it brought death and destruction to his family. He warns Jake not to use it but naturally, Jake can’t help himself as he is desperate for a better life.

The first thing he wishes for is a muscle car. Then he suddenly finds one parked nearby with the keys in the ignition. He and Tony go for a ride but the pair get into a bad car crash that kills Tony. This is where Jake uses his second wish. He wishes that Tony wasn’t dead anymore.

Paw 3

Anyone who has ever read or seen a version of this story knows just how bad of a wish this is. Tony returns but he is not the man he was. He lacks a soul which has turned him into a cold, calculating and cruel man. He wants one thing now; Jake’s final wish and he will get it by any means necessary.

Hitting the mark with some great performances (particularly from Stephen Lang) and delivering dark atmosphere, The Monkey’s Paw is a solid horror movie. One that just lacks the knockout blow. Simply put, it’s just not scary or chilling and the pacing is all over the place.

Paw 5

Often just when it is beginning to pick up steam it will cut away to something far less interesting. You’re all prepared for something horrible, something gruesome and boom, off we go to something else. It can be incredibly frustrating and instantly takes you back out of the movie.

As previously mentioned Stephen Lang is great. An entertaining and interesting character, his performance switch to a cold and evil killer is horrifying. He revels in his role and while it does reach campy stages near the end, it is forgivable considering how good he’d been up to this point.

Paw 4

The films finale is pretty satisfying too. The revelation of just what Tony wants is actually kind of sad and the final wish, when used, is one that will make all viewers wince just a little bit.

With a bit more effort, a bit more willingness to really go for it, The Monkey’s Paw could have been a great horror film. Instead its insistence of toning everything down (including gore) means it ends up feeling a bit too run of the mill. A real pity.

[amazon_link asins=’B01AWT2GF0′ template=’UseThisOne’ store=’g0e5b-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’e3560902-8f97-11e8-8302-cb41f6bcfecc’]


  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

The Monkey's Paw
  • The Final Score - 6.5/10
User Review
0 (0 votes)