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Review Monstrum a.k.a. Mulgoe (2018): Solid monster film!

genre action, fantasy, horror

At this point I do wonder how it is possible that there are three productions who are set around the same time period (The Joseon Dynasty) who almost have a similar vibe, came out in the same year and yet I only heard about the big Netflix production called Kingdom?And what exactly made this time period so special? It does motivate me to dig into this period and do some research. One day. For now I will stick to reviewing Monstrum.

Like Kingdom and Rampant this one goes the horror route. It tries hard to build up tension and suspense. And for a large part this works fine. However it never really gets creepy or scary. I think the biggest problem is the fact that unlike Kingdom and Rampant, the film has a more comedic approach. Don't get me wrong there is a serious tone throughout but it never truly feels like main characters are in any real trouble. Still, I was along for the ride due the cast and their acting. They made me root for them. Unfortunately they get a little obstructed by the overly predictable plot. I wished they truly had me surprised with a twist or two I didn't see coming. However there is one plot element that showed another angle that made me look differently at the monster.  They should have done more of those and Monstrum would have been a bigger movie. Spectacle wise it clearly is a smaller film compared to Rampant. But I must say that visually speaking the film looks good and the action is decent enough. If only it had been more ambitious. More drama, more political intrigue. More wacky characters. More blood and gore. Although the latter might have been a budget issue.

While I had fun from start to finish I can't help but feel so much more could have been done with the concept. I perhaps should commend the film for attempting to be philosophical. But like many themes explored in the film it's done far too briefly to have any real impact. If like me you can't wait for the third season of Kingdom to happen this will give you a small fix.

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