Watch American Monsters
- 52 min
"American Monsters" is a 2015 horror movie directed by Nathan Oliver, starring John Tempest and Michael Warilow in leading roles. The movie revolves around a group of friends who encounter a mythical creature and their struggle to survive the horror that follows. The story is set in a small town in the US where a group of friends decides to go for a camping trip in the woods. As they spend their night preparing for their adventure, a strange creature starts stalking them. They brush it off thinking it to be just an animal. But as the night proceeds, the creature becomes more and more visible and terrifying, leading to a fight for survival.
The movie opens with a shot of a dense forest and a calming sound of a flowing river in the background. The first few minutes introduce the main characters of the movie, a group of friends who love to explore nature. The group comprises Jake (John Tempest), the leader of the group, his girlfriend Lisa (Jessica Nguyen), Jake's best friend Ray (Michael Warilow) and his girlfriend Rachel (Isabella Tu). The chemistry amongst the group is natural, and their camaraderie is amusing. The movie takes its time to establish the context and provides a sense of attachment, familiarity and empathy towards each of the characters early on.
The friends' strength and bond are tested as they realize that something is lurking in the woods. The creature's first appearance is elusive, but the movie slowly builds the tension as the creature becomes more visible, and its intentions more apparent. The group struggles to stay alive as their relationship with each other, and their relationship with the natural surroundings of the forest is severely tested.
The plot is tightly woven, and the script is well-paced, building the tension with each passing moment. The movie deviates from the stereotypical monster movies of the past and relies on the unseen terror of the unknown. The creature design is excellent, and the digital effects are used sparsely, increasing the movie's realism.
The movie is reminiscent of 'Blair Witch Project' in terms of its found footage format, but the similarities end there. Unlike the former, "American Monsters" makes use of a POV camera, giving us glimpses into the experience of each character, providing us with their unique perspectives. The movie's foundation lies in the friends' relationships, and the movie achieves an emotional depth not commonly found in monster movies.
The performances of the movie's cast are remarkable, with each actor bringing something unique to the table. John Tempest, as the leader of the group, portrays a sense of confidence that slowly fractures as the night goes on. Michael Warilow's portrayal of Ray, the most experienced of the group, brings a sense of gravitas and provides valuable insights into characteristics of the creature. The chemistry between Isabella Tu and Jessica Nguyen is effortless, adding a sense of realism and unpredictability.
The movie's music score is noteworthy, with the original soundtrack building with the tension of each moment. The movie's sound design is another factor that adds to the authenticity of each shot. The attention given to the sound design is impressive, and the sound of the creature is ominous and frightening.
In conclusion, "American Monsters" is a well-crafted horror movie that relies on good storytelling, exceptional performances, and strong direction. The movie makes use of found footage and POV formats to provide us glimpses into the character's psyche and the monster that stalks them. The movie's strength lies in its characters, and you find yourself invested in their survival. It is a movie that will leave a lasting impression on you, and one that should not be missed by horror fans.
American Monsters is a 2014 documentary with a runtime of 52 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.1.