[Review] There Are Monsters- Short Horror Film [2008]


Lowdown: A married couple in a small Canadian town notice an unattended child wearing a red hood in their snowy backyard and the smiles of their fellow town folk never looked so friendly.


“There Are Monsters” became a full-length feature film in 2013 which dealt with an apocalyptic notion of monsters invading the globe because heck, why should aliens have all the fun? Unfortunately my opinion was not favourable because it just did not measure up to the self-contained short it started life as being, nor able to evoke half as much the excrement of sparkles due to drawing too much from the sensationalism of the plot. Within 10 minutes “There Are Monsters” manages to make the viewer feel distinctly uneasy because half of the time they are unsure what the characters are seeing or feeling is all in their minds or actually occurring. The crisp, almost pure scenery is a stark contrast to something considerably deep and dark moving just below the surface that it actually reminded me of “Fargo”… that’s a compliment. Director Jay Dahl went on the record saying “I trust that when I go to the grocery store, the clerk behind the counter is a living, breathing human being just like me. At least she looks that way. But when she starts acting off, I wonder ‘What’s going on?'”. Indeed, the most eerie sequences involves the husband going to a 7-11 where he is served by a polite check out lady. However, the man is taken aback when she smiles at him a little too brightly…  a little too friendly. It’s a sequence that hits home just how frightening a common facial expression can be when you amplify it just a little bit more and how a regular smile can turn into something akin to a grievous rictus grin. Is his mind playing tricks on him or does this nameless server really want to eat him?


The acting in general is fine, but the intention behind “There Are Monsters” is what truly makes this film stand out because of how subtle sinister can be done and how low key anxiety can be portrayed all in a very comfortable setting.  It will make you think next time you catch the eye of somebody who smiles at you a few seconds longer and slightly wider..


Check it out here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I61l_f-328c




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