Film Reviews

[Review] Creature Feature Chaos: Jong-ho Huh’s Monstrum

Director: Jong-ho Huh | Writer: Jeong-uk Byeon, Heo-dam and Jong-ho Huh | Released: September 12, 2018 | Run Time: 1h 45min


Monstrum is a South Korean creature feature that ticks all the boxes. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while. It has a great backstory, tons of character depth, a great script, and an ending you’ll have to see to believe. The actors go above and beyond anything I could’ve expected. And the creature is prominent in most of the film. If the creature isn’t in the frame, then it’s probably being mentioned. The antagonist uses the monster to his advantage.

The film starts out with Yoon Gyeom (Kim Myung-Min) in King Junjong’s court with Myung, a little girl he rescued from the pit. Sim Woon (Lee Kyoung-Young) tells King Junjong the little girl has the plague. Yoon Gyeom protects the girl from death. King Jungjong orders Yoon to leave with the girl, and Sung Han, Yoon’s right-hand man goes with him. To put this whole ordeal in perspective, Yoon was King Jungjong’s most trusted general. Fast forward several years, and the rumors of Monstrum start circulating again. People are getting slaughtered by an unknown creature, and the plague may or may not be spreading.

King Jungjong calls upon Yoon to find the illusive creature before it’s too late. Yoon takes Sung and Myung with him to help with his mission. The trio must also fight against a group of people trying to overthrow King Jungjong. The historical perspective and the action make this a great film. The acting is top-notch, even the supporting cast deliver memorable lines. From the opening scene to the credits start rolling, the main characters are fully fleshed out. The backstory is truly remarkable. You get to see the rich history of Joseon and how their predicament came to pass.

Monstrum is full of pulse-pounding monster mayhem. It’s currently streaming on Shudder. You should give it a watch. You can’t go wrong with this one.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis

Monstrum is set in 1527, during the reign of King Jungjong, it’s the 22nd year of Jungjong. The plague has taken over Joseon, and fear runs rampant in the streets. When rumors of a vicious beast roaming Mount Inwangsan–called “Monstrum” by terrified masses–begin to spread, fear turns into panic. In order to quell the rising panic, Jungjong brings back his most trusted general Yoon-gyeom from retirement. Joined by his daughter Myeong, his right-hand man Seong-han, and royal court officer Heo, Yoon-gyeom sets out to find the mysterious creature.

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