There Are Monsters (2013) Poster

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7/10
There are jump scares and shaky cams
Finfrosk8612 March 2015
This was the very last movie at Glasgow Frightfest 2015. And quite a good one to end it all.

The bad: This is, I assume for budgetary reasons, a found footage flick. Unfortunately this means quite a lot of shaky cam. Really, really shaky. Way too zoomed in, and shaky. Like, Blair Witch with Parkinson's. I was literally squirming in my seat hoping whoever was filming would just. zoom. out. And ever so often the movie cuts to these just wild zoomed in shaky parts, where you see absolutely nothing but blur. OK, got the bad out of the way!

The Good: The good thing is that not all the filming is shaky, and pretty much all the actors did a good job. The movie was well paced and not boring (even after watching 5 movies before it, as this one was last). The characters are likable, and seem to have pretty good chemistry. There are some laughs to be had, too.

The Scary: This movie actually gave me chills a couple of times! Kudos. Some of the sound effects, and visual effects, are pretty darn creepy. And a couple of the jump scares are very effective. Pretty cool. I especially liked how some of the creepy parts gets you thinking: was that actually a creepy effect, or was it my mind playing tricks on me?

All in all it was pretty entertaining, and very good for a found footage movie. Good movie to see with a couple of friends, if you have those.
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5/10
Good Movie, Could have been great
ellen-3004818 February 2018
Really enjoyed the storyline, shame none of the potential movie makers in the film could actually focus on anything. Felt quite seasick at times and got bored watching a black screen. I get that they were trying to be realistic but I can film from a car window and still focus. Having said that, I did enjoy it
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3/10
Good acting, okay story line, but the camera work? I can't even.
shroyerw-12 February 2020
The plot and the acting were both adequate, and even very good in places. It had intermittent "Us" vibes here and there which were creepy enough. But what really drags my rating for this down is the camerawork.

"There Are Monsters" is what I call "quasi-found footage" - some scenes are supposed to be seen as if through the lens of one of the characters' camera, and for some scenes, it's obvious that no characters are recording it. If it were intended to be a bunch of amateurs, or kids, or anyone else who didn't know what they were doing, the camerawork might be somewhat excusable. But even in the "found" footage, the characters operating the cameras were supposed to be professional cameramen.

My ass they were. The movie was so shaky and blurry in so many places, it really took away from the decent work of the actors. No professional cameraman would produce work like that, even on a job they weren't taking all that seriously. As if that weren't bad enough, they continued the horrible camerawork even in scenes that weren't intended to be "found footage". For instance, the main female protagonist entered a bathroom stall at one point. She was completely alone, no other characters were in the booth to film her. It was a steady picture at some points, but a jumbled, chaotic slurry of motion and digital myopia for the most part. There was no excuse for that.

The only other thing I didn't like about it was the jump scares, but they didn't have more than maybe 5 of those. I just hate jump scares in their entirety, so that might be more of a "me" thing.

Over all, if extremely shaky camerawork doesn't bother you, then I would definitely recommend this for you. Otherwise, I'd give it a pass.
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6/10
Could be a good movie...
cjwilkinson-8180826 January 2020
...but the overdone shaky and out of focus cam makes it pretty much unwatchable at times.

Other than that, this is a very decent "Invasion of the Bodysnatchers"-type remake with a lot going for it. It's a shame someone didn't point out that the shaky cam was just absurdly over-the-top and get the camera operator to hold it a bit steadier - like virtually anybody else using a hand-held video camera would.
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7/10
Never Judge a Book by its Cover
Spike_the_Cactus6 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The first thing to mention is that this isn't really a found footage film. Yes they're making a documentary, and yes a lot of the footage is filmed by them, but large swathes of the film are recorded by unexplained external sources (cctv in a toilet cubicle?). It's really just a stylistic choice, ironically often excessively rendered by shaky footage in ways that most legitimate FF films avoid.

There are Monsters (terrible title) starts weirdly. It uses footage from the middle of the film, which is then repeated in full later. It feels clunky, and prevents the story from becoming creepy in a more organic manner. Many of the early scenes would have been far more disturbing without the instant reveal. It ruins any chance of building tension.

Having said that, this film is full of unnerving moments. There's plenty of paranoia, which is to be expected in a 'Body Snatchers' story, along with more traditional horror. The acting is mostly good, the pacing works well, and the writing is surprisingly tight. I'm not as positive about the directing, but the grocery store scene was a standout moment.

It's an entertaining low budget horror that does a very good job of delivering scares.
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8/10
Spoilers follow ...
parry_na2 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Looking back, 2013 was a prolific year for horror films. However, not many of them have proved as enjoyable as this low-budget found footage production. Using simple but very effective tactics, this project does its best to convince us that our planet is slowly being taken over by doppelgangers. These beings look like us and do their very best to act like us – but in subtle ways, they get it wrong.

I've always been more frightened of the idea of human monsters than the bug-eyed variety, and 'There Are Monsters' plays very well with this idea. A group of sardonic students on a road trip, filming their experiences, are methodically shaken out of their high-spirited reverie by repeated sightings of people acting very oddly. Well, actually not very oddly – just slightly oddly. It is a subtle device, but that and frequent news bulletins of things being 'not quite right' create an effective feeling of growing unease.

Director and writer Jay Dahl is a name we should hear more of. His style here is very 'found footage' (lots of shaky cam and a seemingly haphazard knack of catching reactions and fleeting glimpses), and he makes full use of it. There are even a few very effective jump scares. As the relationship between the group becomes more frayed, we are aware that we are in a kind of 'Invasion of the Bodysnatchers' scenario, just without the horticulture.

Two elements of this film put me in mind of other things. The briefly seen 'twins' reminded me a little of the mighty Castel twins in a number of fantastique films directed by Jean Rollin (especially 1975's 'Lèvres de Sang/Lips of Blood'). Secondly, some of the effects used reminded me of the terrifying Aphex Twin's music video for 1997's 'Come to Daddy'.

Original, unnerving, and highly enjoyable.
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1/10
Ameture..
vishlex22 February 2020
Bad, even for an ameture level film. If this was someones diploma film, he/she wiliuldbhave failed for sure... It was just excruciating to watch..
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4/10
Good body snatchers movie but camera work ruined it
jessicartim18 February 2020
First, I like the idea of body snatcher monsters and it was executed very effective in this movie. The characters, tension building, subtle effects, it all works here... but... what on Earth happened with camera?! Such a good movie completely ruined by what I can only call amateurish shaky blurry camera work. It's not only irritating, as the story/writing is actually engaging, but also quite uncomfortable to watch. Why oh why, you had it and you blew it completely!
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10/10
If you're like me...
queeroid17 February 2020
...then you love found footage films. You watch as many of them as you can find and, as a result, end up sitting through a _lot_ of bad films. Every once in a while, though, you get an absolute gem that makes trekking through the dreck completely worth it.

Is this film a perfect 10? No. However, I'm rating it as such because it by no means deserves the low scores it's received. (My true rating would likely be an 8, if you're curious.) I definitely place it in the top category of found footage films, thought it _is_ technically found footage-style. For example, there is is one particular chase scene that admittedly gets quite frustrating. Our lead characters are being chased by a bunch of baddies and all we get is blurry, zoomed-in views of nothing. In another scene, we're given multiple crystal clear views of one man running alone, without a camera, to nothing and from no one. The other reviews nearly made me pass this one up all-together, but in all honesty, it's just that one aforementioned scene that got on my nerves, and it's my only nit-picky gripe with this film. It is otherwise a genuinely creepy, solid horror that is well-worth your time.

TL;DR: Found footage meets Body Snatchers. Seriously, ignore the bad reviews.
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7/10
Brilliant Story & A LOT Of Shakey Cam
DarkBlueChris55526 February 2019
There Are Monsters is basically found footage meets Invasion Of The Body Snatchers - and that's no bad thing.

Four friends are filming a documentary about school children (or something like that) when during their filming they begin to notice odd, subtle behaviours in people. The subtle gradually becomes more in your face and outlandish as it becomes apparent that these people aren't actually people at all - they used to be - but now they have been taken over by forces unknown. The four friends eventually become convinced something is very wrong; and as society crumbles around them they end up fighting for their very survival.

There Are Monsters is an above average found footage horror. The acting, plot and pacing of the film are all very good. And the spin on the well worn found footage path that people are gradually being taken over by something unknown brings a freshness to this often stale sub genre.

The one flaw that's apparent throughout is the overuse of shakey cam. At times it's really difficult to actually know what's going on due to the camera flying all over the place, and there are one or two blackout scenes too when you can't see anything. I know this adds to the realism, but at times the shakey cam is so rough it's difficult to watch.

In the main though this is a very good example of how to produce a good found footage film, and with so many bad examples out there, this is a definite diamond in the rough.
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7/10
Actually really good
nathanmanson8 January 2019
Ay you know that actually scared me wow, when their faces moved it actually sent me under the covers. My 25 year old brother was holding on to me for dear life at different parts during the film. I didn't like when he did that but fully understand why.
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9/10
Really Liked it! With Some Weak Spots..
birgit_schuette23 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Overall I really liked this, good creepout factor and a lot of "jump" scares. A kind of modern Invasion of the Body Snatchers, found-footage style, with monsters reminiscent of Soundgarden's Black Hole Sun Video from the 90s! It was a cool, fun, scary adventure to watch, and they did a great job on a low budget.

****WARNING --DO NOT READ MORE UNLESS YOU'VE FINISHED the FILM!******

Good pacing, and good steady suspense throughout. Starts off with the typical mundane, goofy college road trip; the group gets slowly creeped out, with some bigger scares.... but just enough to still write off with logical explanations; then it descends suddenly into a straight-up run for survival against the onslaught of monsters chasing them.

The monsters themselves are nicely eerie. Besides the Black Hole Sun effect, people just acting awkward, facing walls, and staring at you is unnerving in itself (imagine if that happened in real life?). Toward the end more is revealed, that it's some kind of weird parasite-alien thing on the inside, and you actually get to see it in later phases.

At the end a couple come back home, hoping to be in the clear, but the monsters have even slunk back into their family and neighbourhood.

Overall a cool journey of (disheartening) discovery with the characters. It's fun trying to guess who's turned (and when) and who's still normal.

What I didn't like - when they first started running from the creatures, there was what felt like 5min of just blur and camera shake where you can't see a thing cuz the protagonists are running. I get that it's "found footage" and these effects are meant to make it seem more"realistic," but I'm so over the found-footage idea. This film uses it inconsistently - a lot of the quality is quite good throughout, almost like a documentary (I can deal with found footage then), but then the parts that are bad are really bad and go on far too long. Should be used sparingly - we are watching a movie afterall, and NOT a poorly-shot home movie.

Also when they sat in that dark closet and you couldn't see for what also felt like 5min--this part was black a bit too long. It annoyed me that they're trying to "hide," yet whisper loudly enough for the whole house to hear, and take flash photos of the room--apparently to try and "see something" (subtly????)---blatantly broadcasting the monsters their location. Why hide at all then? Just use the flash to get outside into the daylight and run as fast as possible instead!

Also, he was using a smartphone, yet it had the shutter sound and photo-development time of like a full size camera... smartphones are instant and quiet. I get that it was used to build tension and allow for jump scares, but it just wasn't believable. Wish they'd found a better way to do that.

Finally, there was one scene/line (when they were all in the car in the beginning), that they repeated like 3 times. They were using that and the other part to kind of "foreshadow" before the movie started, but it was unnecessary to show it in full the 2nd time again. Just do a snippet so people know "oh this is that scene I saw before."

At first that I thought it ended too abruptly, but then you have to watch the credits--as the real ending is woven into those. I did enjoy the ending afterall.

In summary - despite my annoyances for those few things - I really liked this movie a lot. Fun watch, deliciously creepy, and even though the base story concept is not hugely original, I love all the elements used and how it was made. Good job on this! Hope they make more unique creepy creature films. :) was still an odd adventure!
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9/10
A return to the classic horror movie, with a modern take. Finally!
dswilliams-7609619 July 2019
Much appreciation for this film which rejuvenates the puppet master trope. Awkward and uncomfortable with just the right amount of silliness. Very respectable and a welcome break from the Need to have clever twists. Thank you.
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1/10
Hardwork
sidneygchambers2 July 2019
Cinema Varite, bloody hard to watch. Thanks Blair Witch!
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1/10
Headache inducing.
echodog-335103 February 2020
This movie gave me a serious headache thanks to the $#itty camera work. Every single shot is "extreme close up" or "close up" and shakey, like 9.8 magnitude shakey. The story is good, but direction and cam work ruin this film. The acting isnt even that bad.
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8/10
Spoilers follow ...
parry_na23 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Looking back, 2013 was a prolific year for horror films. However, not many of them have proven as enjoyable as this low-budget found footage production. Using simple but very effective tactics, this project does its best to convince us that our planet is slowly being taken over by doppelgangers. These beings look like us and do their very best to act like us - but in subtle ways, they get it wrong.

I've always been more frightened of the idea of human monsters than the bug-eyed variety, and 'There Are Monsters' plays very well with this idea. A group of sardonic students on a road trip, filming their experiences, are methodically shaken out of their high-spirited reverie by repeated sightings of people acting very oddly. Well, actually not very oddly - just slightly oddly. It is a subtle device, but that and frequent news bulletins of things being 'not quite right' create an effective feeling of growing unease.

Director and writer Jay Dahl is a name we should hear more of. His style here is very 'found footage' (lots of shaky cam and a seemingly haphazard knack of catching reactions and fleeting glimpses), and he makes full use of it. There are even a few very effective jump scares. As the relationship between the group becomes more frayed, we are aware that we are in a kind of 'Invasion of the Bodysnatchers' scenario, just without the horticulture.

Two elements of this film put me in mind of other things. The briefly seen 'twins' reminded me a little of the mighty Castel twins in a number of fantastique films directed by Jean Rollin (especially 1975's 'Lèvres de Sang/Lips of Blood'). Secondly, some of the effects used reminded me of the terrifying Aphex Twin's music video for 1997's 'Come to Daddy'.

Original, unnerving, and highly enjoyable.
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