Back again today with another Short Movie Monday film review! I got an email a week or so ago from director Neil Stevens with a link to his film The Monster (full film below)… and boy am I glad he reached out!
The Monster is written and directed by Neil Stevens. It stars Aaron Bradshaw, Brian Ramian, Erika Stas and was produced by Stevens, Ryan Husk and Venezia Zavala. It tells the story of a young boy terrified of monsters who asks his Dad for help getting over his fear.
Thoughts & Recommendation
I’ve got three boys under the age of 13. Any time I see a horror flick with a child actor I’m immediately drawn to them, especily when the kids are in peril. As you can imagine I get a bit jaded when it comes to horror plots but when I see a younger kid, especially a boy, it tends to tug on my heart strings. The Monster is no different and boy did it tug. It was a REALLY uncomfortable watch for a Dad of three boys but I’ve got to say I loved it. You know (or at least I did) from the first minute that the Dad (Brian Ramian) is bad news. Who the fuck reads this sort of horror stories to a young kid??? In any case the film looks simply outstanding and there’s a REAL creep factor for nearly all of the film’s 11 minute run time.
Where Ramian as the creepy AF Dad is outstanding, TEN year old Aaron Bradshaw steals the show. You can see the terror in his eyes as his Dad reads to him and when he starts to hear things in his dark room. All I can say is wow. He totally made me feel for the character and I thought MANY times about how scared my kids would be. He truly was able to convey just how scared he was – bravo.
Direction and cinematography is on point here too. The camera moves fluidly, lighting is really well done even in the dark sections and the jump scares and reveals (which I won’t spoil) are REALLY well done. The story the Dad tells is compelling and sets up the final act perfectly. I’m not quite sure why the Son makes the decision he does in the end. Not sure if he’s afraid of his Dad or becoming him – you be the judge. It plays well either way.
When a film has a run time of only 11 minutes or so it’s sometimes difficult to really give a proper ‘review’. That’s not the case here. I can unequivocally say The Monster is a GREAT short film that is well worth the time to watch. Do yourself a favor and check it out below.
The Monster (2019)
- Written + Directed by: Neil Stevens
- Starring: Aaron Bradshaw, Brian Ramian, Erika Stas
- Produced by: Neil Stevens, Ryan Husk, Venezia Zavala
- Cinematographer: Seth Wessel-Estes
- Assistant Director: TC Grey
- 1st AC – Autumn Perrotta
- Production Designer: Andy Hengl
- Composer: Nathan Alexander
- Editors: Stephen Kaiser-Pendergrast + Brian Colvin
- Sound: Mark Meseroll
- Lights: Joe Tan
- Makeup + SFX – Nick Reisinger
- VFX: Pavel Ushakov