After making a series of award-winning shorts such as Kookie and Latched director Justin Harding makes the leap to feature films with Making Monsters. Maintaining the sharp black humour that was prominent in his shorts, Harding’s latest film, which is co-directed by Rob Brunner, cranks the terror up to maximum volume.
Making Monsters builds its tension quickly. YouTube prank star Chris (Tim Loden) and his fiancée Allison (Alana Elmer, Harding’s regular muse), who is often on the receiving end of his stunts, are looking to finally start a family. While at a fertility clinic, Chris runs into old friend Jessie (King Chui) who invites the couple to spend the weekend with him and his husband David (Jonathan Craig) at their secluded home in a newly renovated church.
After a night of heavy drinking with David, who is left to entertain them when Jessie’s flight is delayed, Chris and Allison wake up to discover that their host is missing and the power to the house has been cut. Is it just another one of Chris’ pranks? Or is something more sinister at play?
Presenting a dark spin on this generation’s obsession with becoming viral sensations, Harding’s film is ripe with commentary about the ills of the internet. Effectively drawing out the tension, Making Monsters soars thanks to the strong performance by Elmer. Gifted with the ability to convey various levels of terror and confusion in her face, Elmer is a revelation to watch.
While the supernatural subtext could have been better fleshed out, Making Monsters succeeds in providing chills and thrills. It is a reminder that not all monsters lurk in the dark.
Sunday, October 20, Scotiabank Theatre, 9:30 PM