• Strictly Films

Monster (2021) Quick View; Grade: C+


Monster tells a story about a seventeen year old boy named Steve (Kelvin Harrison), a kind chill gentleman who aspires to become a film maker in the near future. Unfortunately for Steve he has been charged for the murder of a convenient store clerk, as Steve truly believes he’s not guilty of this horrible crime, as he tries to convince the jury and everyone else that he is totally innocent.


As I rated and logged this film on my Letterboxd, I notice the release year for this film was 2018, meaning perhaps that’s when it made it’s festival run so it has been stashed for quite awhile. Which makes a lot of sense considering Kelvin Harrison looks SUPER young in this film.

Monster is a well shot film, that has a fair amount of style whether it be Steve video taping or photographing black and white images or just the way the film looks visually. Main issue regarding the film making would be the shaky cam sequence, as that was fairly unneeded and looked bad. Followed by a forgettable Score, where one scene in particular featuring drums that was extremely unnecessary regarding the tone of that particular scene. The cast all in all was fine. Of course Kelvin Harrison puts on a pretty good performance, you can even argue that his performance does help elevate this fairly bland character. Regarding the character itself: I felt fairly underwhelmed, as there wasn’t really anything interesting about him, which regarding his court case is actually a good thing proving his innocence, but for a movie like this as we cut away to Steve’s actual life before the case... There wasn’t much there at all. More could’ve been done regarding spending more run time with his family or developing his relationship or heck maybe developing just how he got inspired to wanting to be a film maker in the first place.

Monster starts off very slow, where it steadily was just alright in terms of what’s going on in the events of the film. Then we finally get to a point within the court case, where tensions rise within one of the witnesses being called to the stand, and from then on... Was becoming a little more engaging. The thing with Monster is what I truly got out of it, is we shouldn’t be pressured by others as in terms of how we make choices in our lives. Like the Jury: A Lawyer pressures the jury into thinking Steve is a monster, without really knowing whom Steve is other than making such loud blatant accusations about him, making the jury guilty if they don’t think Steve is guilty. I won’t spoil the third act: But the same can be said with Steve and the fellow other men, whom were involved with the robbery/murder... Steve shouldn’t be pressured into doing something he clearly didn’t want to be involved in, be your own person and not let people dictate your choice making, stand by your truth and true self. Fairly average story, the meaning of it for me at least in terms of what I got out kind of works.

Overall, Monster was just fine. I recommend checking this one out, but don’t expect fireworks out of this one. -Mitch Smietana

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