Mitch Stockridge is a hugely successful writer. His meteoric rise to fame, all due to his unrivaled ability to write amazing stories that resonate with a disillusioned public. In short, he writes books that help people. This local hero is a household name, and people flock to meet him at book launches and signings. Everyone is in awe of Mitch’s amazing talent, and the question they all want answering is, ‘where do you get your ideas from?’
F.C. Rabbath has returned in great form to offer up his latest movie, ‘A Brilliant Monster’. He has again taken the helm of another low-budget monster film, in which he writes, produces, edits and directs, and to be fair, this is no bad thing. He has already proven himself to be an extremely competent movie-maker. In fact, his soaring reputation for making good quality movies on a shoe-string budget is almost comparable to the leading character in his latest project.
The plot for ‘A Brilliant Monster’ centers around the life of a young writer, Mitch, who lives at home with his elderly and ailing father. The two don’t get along, and Mitch has always felt a failure in the eyes of his overcritical parent, despite whatever success he has. This has driven Mitch to work harder and dig deeper for inspiration to hopefully, and eventually, one day win his father’s respect. The parent and child relationship is convincingly played out by David Raizor and Dennis Friebe respectively. Friebe especially, doing a wonderful job of portraying the slightly unhinged and desperate for success author.
From its very first frame, this movie feels and looks well produced. Rabbath obviously has a go-to team that he trusts, and any keen-eyed viewer will notice a long list of familiar names in the credits, both in front of and behind the camera – Adam Bertocci, Jessica Roszko, Valentin Boomes, and Bill Kelly to name but a few. For the most part, I would struggle to criticise Rabbath’s talented and competent team, and when they come together we are treated to a film that is a pleasure to watch. ‘A Brilliant Monster’ has great camera work, some amazing location shots, some very good acting, and the sound is vastly improved (a criticism I make in my ‘Watch over us’ review). A lot of time and effort has clearly been put into making this movie reach its full potential. Again, I feel the need to mention Dennis Friebe’s stand-out performance as the struggling writer, a role he fulfills with great relish. Of course, let’s also not forget the man himself, F.C. Rabbath has written a great b-movie script and really worked hard on the cinematography and editing to give the film a polished look well beyond its restricted budget.
Just as in Rabbath’s 2015 horror ‘watch over us’, we are again teased with the prospect of a horrific monster. Mitch lives with this mysterious creature which he keeps hidden in his spare bedroom. A huge, teethy, walnut of a beast (think ‘Little shop of horrors’) that provides him with ideas for his amazing stories in exchange for being fed. And what does this monster-muse eat? Humans obviously. But as Mitch finds his popularity beginning to wane, and his publisher starts putting the pressure on, he is forced to up the ante, leading to a long line of sacrificial female acquaintances so as to satisfy the monster and get his next big plot twist. In essence, this film poses the eternal quandary – What would you do for success?
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty – this is a B-rate horror movie, but it’s a blooming good example of what such movies can and should be like. The story could have been told in half the time, but the movie never feels like it drags. It’s a good quality, entertaining horror with an underlying sprinkle of humor. Never to be taken seriously. The only negative for me was the occasional out of focus shots which tended to distract. They occur so often, and so obviously contrast against the other crisper, sharper, shots that you are left wondering whether they are intentional. This is, however, an issue that has plagued Rabbath’s previous films.
Considering that this movie was partially crowd-funded by the public, some donator’s even getting a part in the movie, Rabbath has delivered something well worth crowing about. ‘A Brilliant Monster’ offers everything you might want from a low-budget, popcorn movie. With a bunch of upcoming projects already confirmed, and with some of the same familiar faces as we have already seen, I for one am waiting eagerly to see what F.C. Rabbath has to offer next.