Full disclosure, I was one of those people who believed that this movie was never going to be released. Originally slated to be released in April 2018, it was delayed four or five times because of things like the Fox/Disney merger and reshoots to change the entire tone. Like you do. In the end it released to an extremely limited theater run in August 2020, and was made widely available for [legal] streaming yesterday. As the last 20th Century Studios X-Men adjacent film--ending a 20 year franchise--was it worth the wait? Well...
I want to give this movie some credit: while a lot of found footage movies are incredibly cheap, The Monster Project had a budget for its monsters. I've absolutely seen worse effects in other movies, and the creatures here didn't look like ass. The problem is that this movie is really, really proud of its monsters. It takes every opportunity--once things kick off at the halfway point--to show you them in action. But that becomes a problem, because the more you see clear shots of a creature, the less frightening it becomes. We become inured to it and can grow bored with it. And I know this feels more like a third paragraph thing rather than an intro, but I wanted to get that out of the way first.
I count myself lucky that my family isn't too crazy. Sure, we have members like "the one who's always drunk," but things could definitely be worse. Like, oh, for example, my mother didn't have dissociative identity disorder and then died in hospice care, my father didn't die from self-inflicted starvation, and my (nonexistent) brother didn't suffer from schizophrenia before hanging himself! Oh, and I also don't have a tense relationship with my (also nonexistent) children because one time I almost burned them alive while sleepwalking. Man, wouldn't it suck to have that kind of baggage!
Welcome to October of the Corn! That's right, the same guy who skipped the X-Men: First Class movies because he was sick of franchises is jumping straight into another one right after Mummy Mondays ended. I have to do something productive with all these DVDs that I own, right? So suffer with me, because for the next 10 Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (with one exception late in the month), we're going to talk about no one's favorite horror franchise. Fun!
You know what actor I absolutely love? Mr. Billy Zane. I think most people who recognize that name will know him as the bad guy from Titanic first, maybe as one of the guys in Biff’s gang in Back to the Future, and rarely as the titular hero in The Phantom. Hell, he even has a random cameo at the end of the lame Holmes & Watson as himself. But for me, my favorite performance of his will always be Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight.
Look, I absolutely can talk about Batman non-stop for weeks on end, but for both our sakes I'd rather not. I still have several movies I own that I want to talk about, so that means the occasional break in the three or four weeks I'm going to be focusing on this particular superhero. So instead of something related like The Shadow, we have Lo.
Man, I hope when this aired on the Hallmark Channel that they included a “previously on” montage, because the version I watched jumps right into the second half with no explanation. It might as well have been a commercial break instead of “to be continued” and credits. Who knows, maybe it was shown like that. I don’t care enough to look it up. Casper Van Dien has already taken up enough of my time.
Oh my god, why is this movie 3 hours long?? It’s a Hallmark original movie, for fuck’s sake! I refuse to sit though all of this in one sitting, so just like Hallmark Channel did, I’m breaking this up into two parts. Because all the best movies–and reviews–end with “to be continued.”
What is the difference between a cult and a religion? That’s actually a serious question and relevant to this movie. I created the “cults” tag because every so often there’s a movie where cultists try to sacrifice a young girl so that their demon god can enter our world (like you do), but for this movie the “cult” is explicitly Christian. Most likely a subdivision of Christianity, as I was raised Lutheran and don’t remember the pastor passing out dagger crosses and pagers so we could be alerted when the end of the world was happening. But like, are the antagonists technically a cult?
Is it really so hard to do the barest minimum of research, filmmakers? I get that a good number of you are godless heathens (no judgment from me), but if you’re going to reference The Bible, is it so hard to open the book to the table of contents and see that it’s ACTUALLY The Book of Revelation, NOT Revelations? Singular, not plural? I know it’s a real petty point, especially one to start on, but whenever I see a demon hunter or a cult leader make such an easy mistake, it sort of takes me out of the moment.