Seen a couple of horrors this week:
The Monster (Bertino, 2016), in which a deadbeat alcoholic mother drives her daughter to her daughter’s father (after which she might not ever see her daughter again, given how dysfunctional their relationship has become), only to be ambushed along a deserted stretch of road by a monster. Simple as that. Not a bad film - and typically downbeat from the writer/director of The Strangers (2008) - but not a particularly gripping one, either. The human tragedy of the broken mother/daughter relationship was more interesting than the monster/horror content, and the monster itself - admirably practical, man-in-a-suit style - occasionally looked phony but more unforgivably seemed to work to an inconsistent set of rules.
Patient Seven (Various, 2016), an anthology horror which links its short stories via the wraparound story of a psychiatrist (Michael Ironside) aggressively interviewing/interrogating six criminally insane patients at a hospital as research for a book he’s writing which posits the rather gormless theory that most criminally insane patients are putting on an act for the free bed and board; an idea I assume he stole wholesale from The Daily Mail or The Sun or Boris Johnson or some similar agent of evil. The six interviews are essentially the six tales, and all are linked somehow to another inmate, the mysterious “Patient Seven”. Alas, most of the segments are daft and lacking in both sense and scares (a fun segment featuring Game of Thrones’ Alfie Allen as a brazen killer notwithstanding) , and whilst the wraparound plot is a rather tidy device for linking the stories it’s not executed well at all. Swerve this one, it’s a dud.