Book of Monsters – UK, 2018

‘Turning eighteen is going to be Hell

Book of Monsters is a British action comedy horror film directed by Stewart Sparke (The Creature Below; shorts: Margaret in the Zombie Apocalypse; Rats!) from a screenplay by Paul Butler (The Creature Below).The Dark Rift Films production stars Lyndsey CraineMichaela Longden and Lizzie Stanton.

Plot:

Sophie’s eighteenth birthday party becomes a bloodbath when six terrifying monsters descend upon her house, intent on devouring the party guests and killing anyone who tries to leave. As her school friends are torn apart and eaten, Sophie must rally a band of misfits and take up arms to send their party crashers back to hell.

To survive the night, Sophie will face her destiny; monsters are real – and she’s the only one who can stop them…

Book of Monsters is a female lead, action packed monster movie drawing inspiration from the cult horror cinema of the 80s and 90s including Scream, Gremlins and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. With sick, gory practical creature effects and a dark comedic edge, the film will be a fun, bloody and sexy trip back to a time when making it through high school was truly life or death.” – press release

Epic Pictures is releasing Book of Monsters via its Dread label on March 19, 2019.

Reviews:

“From a technical standpoint, the film is a bit shaggy across the board, but there is so much enthusiasm and passion on display that it doesn’t matter. Once you toss on a good cast and some delightful practical effects work, you end up with what amounts to the modern version of a late ‘80s Empire International Pictures monster fest.” Daniel Baldwin, Bloody Disgusting

“Craine and her collected trio are an insanely likeable bunch, and a neatly updated love-interest is very much appreciated, as is a genuine sense of girl-power. Even though he’s very aware that this is an out-and-out love-letter to 80s monster movies, Sparke’s very much married to the 21st-century, seeming keen to update old cliches whilst still leaning heavily on the ethos of the old-school.” Ben Robins, Hey U Guys

“Fun, bouncy and utterly charming, with all the monster stuff being real in camera effects…” John Llewellyn Probert, House of Mortal Cinema

Book of Monsters is a Fantastic Love Letter to old school 80’s horror that blends into a modern theme with a stellar cast, Fun kills and incredible creatures that are designed and made with incredible practical effects.” Jonathan Hughes, The Killer Spotlight

“The general narrative is of escalating chaos, with gruesome gags and doomed if funny supporting characters – the annoyed, subtitled German exchange student (Julia Munder) is a hoot – proliferating so much that the actual plot, which involves the heroine being torn between two possible destinies, gets smudged out a little too often.” The Kim Newman Web Site

Book of Monsters is terrific fun and a total crowd pleaser. The non-CGI creatures look brilliant and the designs are fantastic, including a hideous wendigo, a saucy shapeshifter, and a trio of bloodthirsty gnomes – who were my favourite. A practical FX paradise that is also jammed full of Spaced-style humour and huge fountains of blood… Alan Simmons, Live for Film

“Its mix of comedy, drama and horror is mostly even; however, the pace is up and down. I found the slow moments to be more frequent than the fast ones, sometimes making me restless and yearning for more action. Oh, but the action there is! Monsters appear and wreak havoc so suddenly that you can’t tell exactly what body parts they’re shredding…” Jeff Owens, Boom Howdy

“Sparke achieves a nice sense of momentum throughout, escalating the chaos at the party and gradually whittling down the supporting characters (in largely predictable order), while regularly punctuating the action with witty lines and great visual gags. To that end, there are a number of excellent jokes…” Matthew Turner, Nerdly

” …Book of Monsters transforms its coming of age tropes into an icky Eighties-style gorefest, conjuring the spirit of Evil Dead II (1987) with its own comic diabolism, its practical effects, its Necronomicon-like book of the title, and its hidden toolshed (complete with chainsaw, eventually Sophie’s weapon of choice). The sexual politics, though, are far more up to date…” Anton Bitel, Projected Figures

“It’s like The Evil Dead or Dead Alive but with monsters rather than zombies. Like those films, Book of Monsters knows not to take itself too seriously. It never becomes a full on comedy, but there’s plenty of grim chuckles to be found among the over the top carnage. The one involving a German exchange student and subtitles is particularly inspired.” Jim Morazzini, Voices from the Balcony

Release:

Book of Monsters premiered at the Arrow Video FrightFest in London on 25 August 2018.

In the US, it will be released on Blu-ray and VOD on March 19, 2019 by Dread and Epic Pictures.

Main cast and characters:

  • Lyndsey Craine … Sophie
  • Michaela Longden … Mona
  • Lizzie Stanton … Beth
  • Anna Dawson … Arya
  • Rose Muirhead … Jess
  • Steph Mossman … Pandora
  • Nicholas Vince … Jonas
  • Daniel Thrace … Gary
  • Arron Dennis … Carl

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