Director: Jennifer Kent
Cast: Susan Prior, Luke Ikimis-Healey, Trash Vaudeville
Screenplay: Jennifer Kent
10 mins. Not Rated.
This week, we will be looking at the short film that inspired the 2014 hit The Babadook when I review Jennifer Kent’s Monster.
In Monster, a single Mother (Susan Prior, Animal Kingdom, The Rover) cares for her difficult son (Luke Ikimis-Healey) as he constantly describes his encounters with a terrifying Monster (Trash Vaudeville). It isn’t long before the mother starts to realize that the monster is very real and is all around her.
I happened to prefer this short to the feature-length The Babadook. I like the simplicity of the monster here and I think the pacing was pretty spot-on, whereas The Babadook tends to drag on a bit. I liked the turn from Susan Prior before she made it to American films, and Australian director Kent’s placement of the camera is in the right places to get the most effective mood for the short.
Monster is a pretty solid short film that you can find quite easily online without much trouble. If you saw The Babadook or not, you should check it out. While the performance from the child isn’t nearly as engaging as Prior or even Trash Vaudeville as the monster, but this is the kind of short that provides perfect tone and is easily watchable and rewatchable again.
-Kyle A. Goethe