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Monster (2008) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  86m  •    •  Directed by: Eric Forsberg.  •  Starring: Erin Evans, Sarah Lieving, Justin L. Jones, Kazuyuki Okada, Yoshi Ando, Jennifer Kim, Hiroshi Ueha, Akira Sato, Kosei Seki, Jason Williams, Robert Chu, Shin Shimizu, Chad Nell..
      Erin and sister Sarah travel to Japan to do interviews about global warming. However, on the 1st day of said interviews Tokyo suffers a horrendous earthquake and as they take cover, they soon discover the rumbling is caused by something quite different. The video shown documents their desperate attempt to escape while filming the events befalling them as it happens. What follows is their shaky hand-held footage that appears to have been recovered and presumably posted posthumously for all to see on the internet.


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Image from: Monster (2008)
Image from: Monster (2008)
Image from: Monster (2008)
Image from: Monster (2008)
Image from: Monster (2008)
Image from: Monster (2008)
I entitled this review "Cloverfart", because this movie is similar to "Cloverfield", except for the fact that it really, really stinks. This movie stinks like five gallons of Chum with five more gallons of steaming diahrrea poured on top.

Two eco-crusading sisters, Sarah and Erin Lynch fly from California to Japan to conduct interviews with Japanese government ministry officials, and the average man-on-street to see what they think about global warming, and why they think that America sucks at doing anything about it. While interviewing a ministry official, Sarah tries some good ol' fashioned ambush journalism techniques on this official. The questions that she was supposed to ask were sent over ahead of the interview, but Sarah goes off-script and gleans absolutely nothing for her efforts. During the interview, there comes a series of seismic tremors that shake the building. Sarah and Erin end up taking shelter in the basement of the ministry building.

Our intrepid protagonists try to find someone that speaks English, and they end up being found by another American, Jason, who was told that two American women had fled to the basement. Jason explains that he came specifically to find them. Then, our three Americans spend about five or ten minutes standing around and talking about how they really, really need to get out of that basement... except none of the three actually makes any effort to leave. Finally, it dawns on them that if they stop talking about it, and actually move their feet, they can get out.

Jason, Sarah, and Erin wander about for a bit, looking for a way to get to street level. Jason finds suitable passage, and then Sarah and Erin pepper him with questions as to whether it's really the way out. I found the way out! You did? Are you sure it's the way out? Yes, I'm sure it's the way out. Okay, but are you really really sure that it's the way out? Yes, I'm really really sure it's the way out. But what if it's not. Are you really really really REALLY sure it's the way out?

The eco-crusading quasi-journslist docementarian sisters finally decide to believe Jason, and lo and behold, they make it to street level. Sarah is Manning the video camera at this point. Jets are flying overhead firing rockets. There are explosions everywhere. People are screaming and running. There is machine gun fire. Does Sarah document this, crack crusader that she is?


Instead, Sarah shoots close-ups of Jason's and Erin's reactions to all of this mayhem, as she walks around them to get a 360 degree angle of their heads.

Jason ends up with the camera next, and is promptly killed. How? Take a guess. It's never actually shown what kills him.

Erin starts to cry about how she wants to go home, and Sarah tries to explain how important it is that they document what's going on around them. A little while later, the roles are reversed, with Sarah crying about how all she wants to do is stay alive and go home, and Erin telling her how important it is for them to record everything. Then their roles are reversed again. And again.

The bulk of the movie is shaky camera angles, constant depictions of damaged footage, camera malfunctions, the sisters taking turns on camera being all angsty about this and that. Erin, in an inspiring moment of course and introspection, records herself. If anyone finds this recording, she wants the world to know that Erin Lynch was there... and that she really likes Kelly Clarkson and puppies, or some such drivel. Tokyo is being torn apart, and she's basically filming a video profile for a dating service. No shots of the monster that she claims to have seen. No footage of the carnage and destruction. "Hi, world! I'm Erin Lynch, and I really like Kelly Clarkson!"

As for the monster, there's a total of about 30 seconds spread throughout the entire course of the movie where you get any glimpse at all of the dreaded beast causing all of the mayhem and destruction.

I understand that it's a "found footage" movie, but for most of it, the viewer had very little to no idea as to what is actually going on, or what everyone is running from. Speaking of running, at one point, Sarah badly injures her ankle. She needs help walking with the assistance of a couple of other survivors that the sisters run into. Two minutes later, she's running down the street like Usain Bolt.

This movie sucks on every level. The direction is awful. The lead actresses display all of the gutsy, gritty determination and angst of a pair of platypusses on Valium. They spend more time looking into the camera as if to check whether or not they hit all of their marks while the movie was being made than they do anything else.

Oh. Here's Erin, looking all sad. Oh. Now here's Sarak looking all worried, but grimly determined to carry on. Oh, look. Erin's sad again. Aww, now Sarah's sad. And there's Erin being philosophical and whimsical. Aw, Sarah's crying about how she wants to go home. Now Erin's crying about how she wants to go home. Now Sarah, again. Now Erin, again. And, of course, there's the requisite tragic ending, which can only be revealed through the found footage. The real tragedy is that this film was ever made to begin with.

Review by tmccull52 from the Internet Movie Database.