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The Monster (2016)

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A mother and daughter must confront a terrifying monster when they break down on a deserted road.


Bryan Bertino


Bryan Bertino
884 ( 262)
6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview:
Zoe Kazan ... Kathy
Ella Ballentine ... Lizzy
Aaron Douglas ... Jesse
Christine Ebadi ... Leslie Williams
Marc Hickox ... John Brooks
Scott Speedman ... Roy
Chris Webb ... Monster
Meeko Meeko ... Wolf


Kathy is the alcoholic and smoking addicted mother of the young, but mature teenager Lizzy. They live together since Kathy's husband Roy left her, and she neglects her daughter. Kathy is supposed to drive Lizzy to her father's home in the morning, but she sleeps until late afternoon and they have to travel during a rainy night. While driving through a lonely road through the woods, Kathy hits a wolf that breaks her car, leaving them stranded on the empty road. They call 911 and while waiting for the tow truck and an ambulance, the wolf disappears from the road. When the tow truck arrives, the mechanic Jesse tells that he needs to fix the axle and an oil leakage to tow her car. While repairing the vehicle, a monster attacks him but neither Kathy nor Lizzy note. When they seek Jesse out, they realize that they are not alone in the spot. Further, Kathy learns that monsters do exist. Will they be rescued on time? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Stay in the light.


Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence/terror | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



USA | Canada



Release Date:

6 October 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El monstruo See more »

Filming Locations:

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada See more »


Box Office


$2,700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Previously titled There Are Monsters. See more »


On their journey (in day light) before the car breaks down, they pass the same road-furniture (on the left and toward the right) twice. Between edits. See more »


Lizzy: My mom tells me there's no such thing as monsters. But she is wrong. They are out there, waiting for you... watching. They are in the dark... Sometimes where you see them... Sometimes where you don't. I know that now.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the soft piano parts of the end credits, you can hear Lizzy and her mother screaming at each other (muffled, as if heard through a wall). See more »


Ring Around The Rosie
Performed by Alexa Melo
See more »

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User Reviews

Expertly Handled For The Most Part Yet Limited & Marred By Poor Creative Decisions.
9 February 2017 | by CinemaClownSee all my reviews

Expertly executing most of its genre elements, making numerous poor decisions along the way and unnecessarily adding segments that it was better without, The Monster makes up for a relentlessly gripping yet often frustrating viewing experience that had a lot of potential yet squanders much of it to finish as just another monster flick that's more or less mediocre.

The story of The Monster focuses on a mother-daughter relationship that's been tumultuous for a while, mostly because of the former's negligence & drinking problems. The plot follows the two as they journey through a deserted road but find themselves stranded when their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. To make matters worse, there's something in the woods that hunts them.

Written & directed by Bryan Bertino, the screenplay is marred by a list of issues & questionable choices that restrict the movie from attaining a better altitude. There was no need for flashbacks, no necessity to make one of its characters unsympathetic, and no reason to show their relationship as sour, plus it may have been more effective if it had stayed in the present throughout its runtime.

Majority of the sequences that unfold after the vehicle breaks down are thrilling and Bertino handles the elements of horror really well in those moments. The atmosphere is unsettling, eerie & alive most times. Performances are its main highlight, for both Zoe Kazan & Ella Ballentine chip in with outstanding inputs and play their part responsibly although the two actually looked more like sisters than mother-daughter.

On an overall scale, The Monster is a mixed bag that has its share of some good frights yet fails to add anything new to its genre. The monster design isn't intimidating either plus there are times when it looks unintentionally funny. Brilliantly steered by its leading ladies & superbly elevating the tension with its excellent sound design, The Monster works best when it aims for the "less is more" approach but thanks to its generic finale, it finishes as a forgettable entry in the world of monster flicks.

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