Book Of Monsters (a film review by Mark R. Leeper).

Lots of monsters and action but not much in the way of ideas. Sophie, an innocent girl on the eve of her 18th birthday, lets her friends stage a wild party in her house. Soon there are strangers crashing the party and if that were not bad enough, not all of the strangers are of the human persuasion.

It develops that our main character Sophie is not just any girl and she may have a mission. Lots of horror effects can be used to spice up a scary movie, but they cannot sustain it. ‘Book Of Monsters’ has a lot of gory action, but it has few original plot twists or ideas. Directed by: Stewart Sparke and written by Paul Butler.

Rating: high +1 (-4 to +4) or 6/10

There is nothing wrong with a horror film being like an amusement park ride. But it cannot be much of a film without some original ideas somewhere. ‘Book Of Monsters’ is little more than a series of scenes without much thought or motivation. Sophie (played by Lyndsey Craine) is celebrating her 18th birthday and is inheriting from her mother, dead ten years, a thick and ancient looking book that is sort of a field book of supernatural monsters with useful notes, such as how to kill such a beast.

Sophie has been obsessed by the book but questioned it could do much good for her until on her birthday eve she invites her friends over for a party and those friends invite other friends without permission. Somewhere along the line some real monsters turn up for their own ends. Every monster woman in the cast seems intent on showing off a big grin of sharp-looking teeth. The monsters knock down just a little too easily.

The film never identifies where it is taking place, but it looks and sounds like some sort of English suburbia. The monster design is creative but, frequently, the creatures are hard to make out visually and suffer from the rapid-fire editing. Still they are images that can be effective. The story could do with a little more complexity.

‘Book Of Monsters’ packs scads of gory action, but it has few original plot twists or ideas. The creature design is sometimes scary but too often it is hard to make out detail on the monster and the film is ready to be forgotten when the end credits roll.

Actually, this film has the feeling of a pilot for a series much like that of ‘Buffy’ in which Sophie and her friends would continue to fight supernatural invaders.

I rate the film a high +1 on the -4 to +4 scale or 6/10.

The film is already on disk and streaming.

© 2019 Mark R. Leeper

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