STREAM QUEEN: Field Freak vs. The Monster!

I picked these two newer titles off Amazon Prime for a creature double feature with no knowledge of what I was getting myself into beyond the brief descriptions of each movie. It was luck of the draw this time, because Field Freak and The Monster are very different, but both managed to entertain.

THE MONSTER (2016)

monster 2016 cover

Bryan Bertino, director of The Strangers and Mockingbird, brings us this film of a mother and daughter who become stranded on a dark, desolate road and are then trapped in their car by a hellish creature that comes out of the woods.

monster 2016 behind girl

Bertino’s style definitely comes through here, as the film is paced much like The Strangers. Before the horror, it starts slow to establish the conflicts between the main characters, with the mom and daughter on a road trip to drop the daughter off to stay with her father.

monster 2016 mother

This major white trash pair is like something from a Where Are They Now: Teen Mom Edition. The mother looks like the daughter’s older sister, and they fight like sisters, too. There are also flashbacks revealing their dysfunctional family situation. By the time the dark creature starts terrorizing them, you’re pretty much an amateur if you haven’t already guessed what the monster represents.

monster 2016 attack

So, yeah, this is a deep, smart, thinker’s horror film. But at least it’s still entertaining, sort of like Cujo with an actual (metaphorical) monster. Mom and daughter crash on a road during a rainstorm at night, call a tow truck, and…you know the rest.

monster 2016 under car

They must try to stay alive inside the car until someone manages to come rescue them without getting eaten by the monster.

monster 2016 windshield smash

The creature is wicked cool looking, plus we get some gore, jump scares, and suspense. All the ingredients needed for a quick horror fix…which you’ll pretty much forget exists a month from now.

FIELD FREAK (2016)

field freak cover

This is one of the most refreshing horror comedies I’ve seen in a while. The casually comic performances of the cast are a unique contrast to the “monster” terrorizing them, which is presented entirely as a real threat, complete with all the “scary” bells and whistles.

field freak family

I really had no idea what I was in for when I started Field Freak, but I was charmed into it within a matter of minutes. A family staying at a house in the woods begins hearing animal sounds at night and stepping in piles of poo in the morning. They think they have a pest problem, but the audience is clued in pretty quickly that there’s actually a Bigfoot roaming the woods!

field freak exterminator

The quirky cast of unknowns delivers quick, dry humor that had me laughing out loud.

field freak gun owner

The family alone is a hoot, but there are also a bunch of local hicks added to the mix, including an exterminator, a one-legged root beer maker, and a gun store owner.

field freak crutches

 The comedy blends perfectly with campy moments of suspense and gore, and the Bigfoot is (smartly) not a high-quality horror creation, which wouldn’t quite fit the tone of the film.

field freak legs

However, even though it’s just a guy in a suit, it’s an impressively designed Bigfoot suit. Any drawbacks are hidden by creative filming that is both eye-opening yet fleeting enough to mask detail. Essentially, it’s just like all the mysterious footage we’ve seen over the decades that purports to be video of actual Bigfoot sightings.

field freak bigfoot

This is the most fun I’ve had with a family and the Foot since Harry and the Hendersons.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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