HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Invasion Planet Earth
Ferdinand
Buddhist Spell, The
Steel and Lace
Reivers, The
Angel Has Fallen
I Lost My Body
At First Light
Free Ride
Crawl
Transit
Blank Check
Mad Monk, The
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
   
 
Newest Articles
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
   
 
  Monster Sympathy For The DevilBuy this film here.
Year: 2003
Director: Patty Jenkins
Stars: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Lee Tergesen, Annie Corley, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Marco St. John, Marc Macaulay, Scott Wilson, Rus Blackwell
Genre: Drama, Sex
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: Aileen Wuornos (perhaps best known in the UK as the subject of two Nick Broomfield documentaries) was a prostitute convicted in 1990 of killing seven men and executed in Florida in 2002. Patty Jenkins’ film dramatises the months leading up to her arrest, starting with the moment she met Selby Wall, the teenager who would become her lover. Wournos had been a hooker since the age of 13, leaving behind her a horrific childhood filled with abuse. ‘Hooking’ had become second nature to her, and she managed to eke out a skid-row existence. Meeting Selby gave Aileen someone to care for for the first time, but any hope of a happy future was destroyed when she shot dead a john who had raped her and was about to kill her. Six more bodies followed, all men unlucky enough to pick her up.

Monster is marked primarily – for better or worse – by Charlize Theron’s remarkable physical transformation from gorgeous model-turned-actress to ungainly, ravaged streetwalker-turned-killer. Some of this change is prosthetic, and it is a little off-putting at first, as you try to spot the blonde glamour girl beneath the make-up, extra pounds and general scuzzy appearance. But the sheer force of Theron’s Oscar-winning performance, the foul-mouthed, barely-contained rage that Wuornos feels at the shitty cards that life has dealt her, convinces pretty quickly. Christina Ricci is frequently as good as Theron – hers is a less showy role, but in a way just as difficult – the shy, awkward, sexually-confused girl who is drawn to Wuornos’ charismatic personality and finds it impossible to walk away even when she learns of her crimes. Elsewhere, Bruce Dern cuts a sympathetic figure as an older man, also down-on-his-luck and protective of Aileen, while Annie Corley injects a little humour as Selby’s overprotective, God-fearing aunt.

These performances are terrific, but the film itself can’t quite match them. Monster is stylishly directed, convincingly capturing the whiskey-sodden, neon-lit world of sleazy bars and motels that Wuornos inhabits. But while it’s not predictable as such, nothing really unexpected happens either. Jenkins goes out of her way to emphasise the character over the crime, attempting to sympathise with Wuornos and her horrendous life without condoning her killing spree. But this approach, though commendable, leaves the writer/director neither understanding her subject nor keeping an objective, observational distance. Moreover, the way Aileen's victims become less and less deserving as the film progresses does seem somewhat contrived, and with very little back-story, only Ricci’s empathetic acting gives the character of Selby any depth.

It’s an undeniably compelling watch though, shocking without ever playing for shock effect. And while the serial killer film is a well-trodden path, full marks to Jenkins for attempting (if not entirely succeeding) to make her entry a genre rarity – a humane drama about real people.
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 12582 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Patty Jenkins  (1971 - )

American director and graduate of the American Film Institute who made her feature debut in 2003 with the Oscar-winning Monster, based on the true story of serial killer Aileen Wuornos. She went on to work in television for the next decade until, after a lot of pre-production, she was picked to helm the Wonder Woman movie of 2017. This proved to be one of the biggest hits of its year, and Jenkins was kept on to create the sequel.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: