Book of Monsters 2018 - Pamphlet of mediocrity.

Director: Stewart Sparke

Writer: Paul Butler

Starring: Lyndsey Craine, Michaela Longden, Lizzie Aaryn-Stanton & Daniel Thrace.

10 years ago, Sophie’s mother was reading her a bedtime story from the Book of Monsters, when she was dragged away by a monstrosity that appeared from under the bed.

Since then, the book has been missing, but, Sophie’s father has found it and given it to her as a birthday present.

Now, on her 18th birthday, Sophie (Lyndsey Crane) is throwing a party, only one of the guests is not what they seem and is determined to unleash an evil that’s trapped within the pages of the book.

You know what? I’m not going to sugar coat this review. No preamble from what I liked to what I didn’t to gently guide you into things. Instead, I’m going to tell you right now, that I really didn’t like this movie.

Absolutely everything about it was sub-par, and not in a fun way either.

In fact, I don’t think I got a single moment of enjoyment from this movie. I found watching it to be a chore.

I’m even finding writing about it to be a chore.

Usually, when I encounter a bad movie, I can pour my hatred out onto the page, but I can’t even muster up the energy for that at the moment because of how mind-numbingly bad this was.

Ineffectual splaying - the best way to brace a door.

For example, let’s take a quick look at the plot.

There was a ritual performed – by drawing a pentagram with the blood of a virgin - that would release five monsters from the book. The problem was, the ritual to release the monsters, was performed by one of the monsters. How the fuck does that make sense in any way at all?

The monster should have been, “Right the first step to freeing myself from the book is to…Hang on a minute. I’m already free of the book. Well, that’s that sorted then. Sorry to have bothered you mate.”

It’s a bit like following a recipe to make a sandwich and finding the first ingredient that you need; is a sandwich.

Not that anyone is stupid enough to need a recipe to make a sandwich. Unless they were a character in this movie.

Anyway, let’s not focus the sandwich analogy, and instead, move on.

Which leads me onto the acting.

I’m not going to slag anyone off directly -and yes, I am looking at you male stripper who was one of the worst characters I’ve seen in a long time. It just seemed as though the majority of the cast weren’t putting in any effort. There was no emotion on display, with lines that in the writer’s head were presumably (hopefully) written with a bit of impact behind them, were here delivered with all the nuanced inflection of someone reading the ingredient’s from the back of a packet. Probably the sandwich they had to buy, to use as an ingredient, to then make a sandwich.

Scenes that should have been funny just failed. I mean, having a male stripper fighting evil garden gnomes with a rubber cock should have been slightly amusing I guess? Maybe? But not here.

Everything was just so bland.

Actually, there was one monster costume that looked half decent, but it was shown so often that any impact it may have had, was lost. The same happened towards the end of the movie with a weird, fleshy, monster/human amalgam on the bathroom wall, that looked good initially, but was spoiled by being brightly lit and on camera for too long.

During the monster onslaught, the girls took a break to read some Winnie the Pooh

I tell you how bad I found my viewing experience of Book of Monsters:

It’s a film that made me question my life-choices and wonder if it is worth me reviewing films in my spare time. It made me want to take a break from watching movies. After all, if I don’t, I could have then just turned this off after 10 minutes and found something more interesting and less annoying to experience.

Like counting how many woodlice are in my garden, which I sure would have been a more rewarding encounter than the time I spent watching this.

It didn’t even have the decency to make me angry with it, just apathetic.

And that was the movie’s biggest fault. I felt no connection to it other than disinterest and boredom.

Now, this is all just my opinion of course. Who knows? You might watch it and enjoy it.

There are some folks rating this a 9 or 10, so maybe I’m wrong and they’re right, but I really find myself questioning anyone who could rate this so highly.

Either way, this film is not for me.

I was bored and questioned most of the plot.

Like why if the monsters needed to kill Sophie at midnight, did they make their presence known about an hour beforehand? One of them (the one that read the book to free itself – the self-making sandwich) was a fucking shape-changer. It could have stayed in its human guise until midnight, and then, when the hour struck, killed Sophie without all the previous unnecessary nonsense. Sure, you wouldn’t have much of a film in that case, but there isn’t much of a film anyway.

And don’t get me started on one of the characters reading lines from the Book of Monsters, but their dialogue not even matching the words that are written. Or the digital explosion that didn’t even illuminate/reflect on the house, or the obviously plastic chainsaw prop with the sporadic sound effects.

Phew, that’s better, got some of the old anger out there that I didn’t realise had been bubbling its way up.

Actually, there is one bit of praise I will give.

There was some nice artwork in the book, with some interesting designs. So, whoever created the book pages; well done.

I get that it was supposedly meant to be a bit of light-hearted fun, something that was played for laughs, but other than a brief scene that involved an exchange with a German student the performances felt more cringe-inducing than amusing.

I love a cheap and cheesy movie, but this just didn’t work for me at all. Overall, I found it to be a bland and lacklustre performance, from pretty much everyone involved. It left me bored, possibly even a little depressed and with some suppressed anger too by the time the movie had ended.