FILM INFO: Where do you get those brilliant ideas? A question which plagues all creators. They say success comes at a price, but for Mitch Stockridge, that price feeds a bigger monster.
WRITTEN BY: F. C. Rabbath, Adam Bertocci DIRECTED BY: F.C. Rabbath GENRE: Horror TIME: 90 minutes.
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A Brilliant Monster ( 2017 )
Feature Film Review
I'm the first to admit I'm a huge supporter of projects coming from F.C. Rabbath. When this title came our way here at IndyRed, I claimed the review for myself. So when it comes to "A Brilliant Monster" maybe I'm a little biased. Maybe I shouldn't be writing the review myself, simply because I love this guys previous works. Or maybe... just maybe... my ramblings hit the nail right on the head. If you really enjoy something why shouldn't you yell praises to anyone willing to listen? Or in this case read? If you're entertained... you're entertained. That all that counts right? "A Brilliant Monster" revolves around rising star, self help author, Mitch Stockridge. Maybe the word rising isn't quite right. From the start of the film it's made clear this man is a huge success. His books are brilliant, original, and seemingly help a "lot" of people. This man is a superstar and why shouldn't he be? With talent and original ideas such as his, he deserves to become a world wide sensation. Right? As fans of his books line up for a glimpse, and maybe an awesome autograph from their beloved author, one question gets asked over and over. Where does he get his ideas? This simple and obvious question becomes the backbone of a splendidly dark horror flick. Not "horror" in the gore-fest kind of way... but rather by way of story, atmosphere and a fear of what lurks in the darkness. The darkness of both the mind, and the actual literal darkness. "A Brilliant Monster" is a story of two creatures. Two monsters. The "actual" monster and the journey of a man who becomes one. What an excellent sounding concept. "A Brilliant Monster" almost immediately reminded me of the film "In The Mouth Of Madness" directed by one of my favorites, John Carpenter. The presentation of this title, although much less graphic, has so much in common. Yet it is not a copy. Carpenter's film has a lot of Lovecraftian themes and ideas. Those things that lurk just out of our perception. Those things that can make a man crazy. So if you connect the dots, "A Brilliant Monster" also has that same vibe. Any fan of Lovecraft will immediately feel the similarities. These old concepts are so rarely used now days and it's a shame. There's so much horror that relies on atmospherics and ideas, when talking Lovecraft, that it's a wonder it's not used more. Less graphic... and less expensive elements, yet when done right so much more chilling. "A Brilliant Monster" near perfectly embodies what a true horror film should be. Less of the "actual" sight seeing and more character building and concepts. Simply put: If you like horror films that actually try and get under your skin... this ones for you. Technically, there really is a lot to praise here. Angles, lighting and the editing itself all compliment one and other as they should. Never does one production element attempt to stand on it own, rather they all work together. Things are not perfect however, and I can imagine other reviewers would deduct marks from the overall score because of some of these. There are more than a few really "soft" shots, and a few occasions where it appears some kind of motion tracking was used to stabilize shots, presenting itself with a quick shift and a blur. For me though, these instances of imperfection never really bothered me. Why should they? I still continued to watch and was still entertained. An aspect I was thrilled with was the acting itself. From our lead character Mitch, to our leading lady investigating him, everyone plays their parts so damned well. Since this film has a larger than normal cast, for an indie film, let me just write that nobody stood out as fake or hollow. Everyone appeared as they were seemingly intended, making the world they live feel that much more real. Lastly I must admit that I would have rather seen less of the "monster" itself. The visual representation was brief enough to keep that "eerie vibe" flowing, and I'm not writing that it looked bad, rather that only seeing glimpses and pieces would have kept our imaginations going. That would have been awesome. I also wasn't a fan of the delivered "crumpled papers" in the film. Having a more organic passing of information, such as the way Mitch communicates with the creature, would have been a much better way for him to receive his literary ideas. You got it ladies and gents. I really enjoyed this film. I think many fans of the genre will as well. This is one of those rare indie films that although not perfect production-wise, simply transcended the sum of it's collective parts. For me anyhow. Excellent job cast and crew. Truly. As more links become available, and a trailer pops up online, we'll update our link section so any interested readers can connect. A solid 4.5 out of 5. -BC