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Monsters in the Closet review

Posted in Buckners reviews by Neal at 00:07, Dec 29 2021

"Monsters in the Closet"
– a feature film review by Andrew Buckner

Monsters in the Closet (2022), the eighty-eight-minute debut feature from The Snygg Brothers, is a wildly inventive, frequently funny, and consistently amusing horror anthology. Constituting four standalone tales and one wraparound narrative, the project is continually strengthened by its terrific, and often quite graphic, effects. There is also an improvisational quality to the dialogue and some of the performances in the first two solo outings, “Please Kill Me Again” and “Home Improvement”. It adds a quirkiness to the proceedings that is charming in an unabashedly B-movie way.

Utilizing a first-person perspective in many sequences which enhance the off-the-wall tone, as well as the overall comedic fun of the exercise, “Please Kill Me Again” concerns a young woman named Genny (in a memorable representation from Denyse Hollis) who finds herself overtaken by inexplicable movements and strange cravings during a zombie apocalypse. Finely directed by Spencer Snygg and penned by Snygg and Hollis, the work feels like a glorious, modernized hybrid of The Evil Dead II (1987) from director Sam Raimi, especially in the gross-out department, and Shawn of the Dead (2004) from director Edgar Wright. It benefits from being ruggedly photographed, an attribute most discernible in its exterior street segments, and the implementation of an uproarious voiceover of the lead.

“Home Improvement” is about the violent deterioration of an overly upbeat couple, Zeke (Luke Couzens) and Tina (Camilla Crawford), while enduring the title measure. As was the case in “Please Kill Me Again”, the visual elements from The Snygg Brothers are a crimson-colored highlight. The story from Zachary Snygg and clever screenplay from The Snygg Brothers, Couzens, and Crawford, will prove cathartic and applicable to anyone who has ever attempted a do-it-yourself task. The exaggeration of the time frame by the conclusion, as well as the sharp decline in the relationship from Zeke and Tina, is enjoyably absurd.

Regardless, the third short, “The One-Percenters”, is not quite as stalwart as what arrived beforehand. Though still a tremendous undertaking, its appreciated social analysis is obvious. The characters here, mainly the antagonistic central figures, are etched in a stereotypical manner. Likewise, the chronicle is the most serious and straightforward episode found in the excursion. Nonetheless, it is still entertaining.

Scripted by The Snygg Brothers, the account revolves around Tiffany Collins (in a strong portrayal from Jordan Flippo) cautiously being granted access to a camping trip by her opulent father, Chester (in an absorbing presentation from Phillip Green). This is despite his prejudices towards the outdoors voyage involving her less financially sturdy friends. What transpires from this point onward is an engaging cinematic bloodbath. It is one which incorporates an unexpected twist on what could easily become garden variety genre material.

The fourth brief moving portrait, “Frankenstein’s Wife”, is a hilarious, but familiar, mad scientist saga. Set in New Jersey, U.S.A., the final isolated anecdote oversees Victor Frankenstein (in a brilliantly madcap enactment from John Fedele) constantly reviving his ever-dying wife after she is accidentally killed. Heavily reminiscent of the iconic low-budget masterpiece Re-Animator (1985) from director Stuart Gordon, it is filled with innovative 1980’s-inspired gore, cinematography, and an appropriately brisk pace. It is a refreshing return to form after “The One-Percenters”. Moreover, it is also roughly on-par with the article.

The connecting plot, which considers author Raymond Castle (in a superb turn from Tom C. Niksson) bringing his mental designs to terrifying life when he reads them aloud, has some remarkable commentary and intimate glimpses into the lives of writers. This is evident in the opening scene of the picture, which any scribe who has ever faced the immediate threat of a looming deadline will find relatable. Ending on an intriguing note, this section is undeniably compelling. The undead make-up, atmosphere, and all other aspects of the piece, mainly Jasmin Flores as Jasmin Castle, are top-notch.

Recorded in New York City, New York, U.S.A. and in Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.A, Monsters in the Closet crackles with proficient editing from The Snygg Brothers. Even if the affair is best in its first half, every singular fiction in this development is solid and worthwhile. Released under the production company Purgatory Blues LLC, the venture is a gory, hysterical delight. It is one woven with sly insight into the creative process and thoughtful bits addressing numerous public issues. The effort is excellent in all aspects in front of and behind the camera lens. Delicately balanced and deftly done, the film is a treat for fright fans. Just as importantly, it establishes The Snygg Brothers as a marvelous talent.

Rating: **** out of *****

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