Admittedly, I've never been a fan of found footage movies. "The Blair Witch Project" worked for a lot of people - because many didn't know if it was fake or real, and the concept worked because people thought that just maybe, it really was real. It also hadn't really been done before and expertly, the creators even used the budding internet to promote - creating a "missing person" page and everything. But on its own merits, it's not really a good film - but it was new, and it was fresh. It was also over two decades ago.
Clay Moffatt's film, "Monster" uses the found footage genre exactly the way you think it will. Having characters playing with a video camera and recording their daily happenings, and as you probably guessed, strange things begin to take place. It's the tried and true scenario for a found footage film - it also takes the setup and play through, and keeps it as simple as possible. Random person finds footage and watches, we go back to when the camera rolled and things start to happen, things get worse, we get our reveal. "Monster" switches out some of the expected elements, such as the expected ghost - but you know the deal here. It's just what you think it will be, only on a much smaller budgetary scale.
Technically, again, exactly what you expect - this is a found footage film. But going a little deeper, right off the top of my head there are things that just didn't work for me, that had nothing to do with being a low budget venture. First off, the girl who finds and watches the footage felt like an afterthought. Like she was shoehorned into the project last minute. The constant cutting randomly to her throughout the film, did nothing to create, or keep up any momentum gained. This may be a found footage movie, but her constant appearance made "Monster" feel like a low-quality live stream. It also didn't help that she really didn't do anything. You could take the first instance of her appearance and use it over and over again for each of her cuts - and nobody would be the wiser. Hell, maybe they did do that. "Monster" may have played better without using the girl as a wraparound story. Even standard text, revealing the footage had been found may have worked better.
Then we have the actions and reactions of the characters in the movie. Most of the time, completely unbelievable. Just picking at random, you have a supposedly super scared character in the house - in the daytime. Something happens, and instead of leaving the house... in the daytime, he instead stays inside and hides in his room. Wh... what? We're not talking about a child here, we're talking about a college student. If it were me, or anybody really, I'd be hauling ass outside as fast as possible. Definitely not hiding in my room, in the house. We also have oodles of pointless, silly, and sometimes completely bonkers conversations - and then the appearance of a specialist who talks like an infant - with a gun no less! First off, most people would put off calling a "specialist" for as long as possible. A few mildly strange occurrences for most people, would not warrant a paid specialist. Furthermore, having a guy show up on my doorstep who looks like a kid himself, talks like an idiot, and has a loaded gun? Ummm... no, thank you. Don't even get me started on how ridiculous the Doctor Vince character comes across. All that aside, "Monster" does have its moments. I enjoyed the floating phone scene in its entirety and sometimes, things do click into place. You forget all that's wrong - but only sometimes. There's just so many WTF moments, it was hard to really get into.
It all comes down to this. If you're a found footage hater, don't even bother with this one. You won't make it through ten minutes. If you are somewhere in the middle, there is some entertainment here - definitely. The biggest problem with "Monster" is that it feels like it's meant to be funny - but also, that it's meant to be taken seriously. And when you try and take it seriously, it all falls apart because its characters are just crazy. If you're a die-hard found footage kind of person, give this one a shot - if not... you get the idea.