Monster Party sees a trio of thieves posing as waiters to infiltrate a dinner party with the intent of burgling the home in which it is being hosted. What they don’t realize is that the hosts of the party have a few tricks up their sleeve. The result is utter, unadulterated mayhem.
I would advise against reading too much about this film before going into it. Even the IMDb plot synopsis gives away information that is better discovered by watching the film, rather than finding out beforehand. As such, I will try to keep this critique brief and to the point, without giving away too much.
Director Chris von Hoffmann’s sophomore feature film outing is an impressive and assured effort. It features strong performances from his core cast. I’ve always enjoyed seeing Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck) tackle darker roles and he doesn’t disappoint here. Robin Tunney (The Craft) is also terrific in her turn as McMahon’s privileged wife. Sam Strike, Virginia Gardner, and Brandon Micheal Hall (who star as the trio of thieves) all bring their characters to life in a believable and relatable way. Although they aren’t taking the moral high ground, they are easy to identify with and quite relatable.
In addition to being at the helm, von Hoffman also penned the script. His screenplay is full of dark wit and he was able to ensure that came to life as the director. Monster Party deftly walks the line between horror picture and black comedy and it does so (seemingly) effortlessly. There were ample instances where I felt like I shouldn’t be laughing but couldn’t help myself.
The violence comes early and often and the effects are well-executed. There’s plenty of the red stuff to keep the gore-hounds happy but the film isn’t without substance. It shares certain surface similarities with films like Don’t Breathe and The Invitation but it more than stands on its own and should absolutely be on your radar.
Monster Party is now available on DVD from RLJE Films. Definitely check it out at your earliest convenience.
WICKED RATING: 8/10
Director(s): Chris von Hoffmann
Writer(s): Chris von Hoffmann
Stars: Sam Strike, Virginia Gardner, Brandon Micheal Hall, Julian McMahon, and Robin Tunney
Release: December 18. 2018
Studio/ Production Co: RLJE