Monster Party is a new horror film from writer-director Chris von Hoffman. And no, this is not a movie about Dracula, the Wolfman, and Frankenstein’s monster getting together to have fun. Instead, this is about three teenagers who infiltrate a dinner party secretly held by a serial killer cult for the social elite.
Ultimately, this film needs to be praised for its ambition above all else. It has some very lofty goals, and while it doesn’t accomplish them all as thoroughly as it would like, it is much more successful than a majority of the B-horror movies that come out today.
The best part about this film is that it never takes itself too seriously. It is self-aware enough to realize that it isn’t ever going to be great, so it embraces the schlockiness of the genre and becomes a truly fun midnight movie. There are quite a few ironic moments that stand out, in which the extremely violent imagery is juxtaposed with the elegant and uplifting score.
The film also introduces some very interesting ideas. The thought of a serial killer cult for the wealthy is quite fascinating, and the fact that they are treating the dinner like an AA meeting is even more intriguing. This gives the movie a lot of room to include socioeconomic commentary on the privilege of the upper class.
Additionally, there are some really solid kills. The climax of the film is particularly crazy, as the blood begins to pour and the plot begins to make unexpected twists and turns. It is easy to turn a blind eye to some of the inconsistencies because it is so high-speed and fun to watch.
That being said, there are some elements that were rather lackluster. The character of Mickey is thoroughly confusing. It just seemed like a bad decision to include that scene. Specifics won’t be discussed as to avoid spoilers, but that scene felt largely unexplained, tonally different, and like a mistake in terms of characterization.
There is also a subplot about the protagonist’s father that is unnecessary. Yes, it gives him motivation, but there are other ways in which this could have been done. In fact, the movie has another one written in that it just didn’t use. This also contributes to the ending being mostly unsatisfying.
Furthermore, the execution of the film has some weak spots, but that can be expected of a lower-budget horror movie. At least it embraces this. Some of the gorier kills aren’t particularly impressive, as the practical effects aren’t of the highest quality. There is a scene involving a severed hand that is almost laughable.
Overall, Monster Party was a surprisingly enjoyable film. It isn’t the most well-made, but it is quite a bit of fun and offers some interesting ideas.
Monster Party is in theaters and on VOD beginning November 2.