mon mon mon MONSTERS!
- 112 mins
"Compulsively watchable, with flashes of dark, pithy comedy" - Elizabeth Kerr, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
In the somber, nocturnal murk of one of Taipei’s shabbier corners, a pair of filthy, ragged, unnatural creatures – seemingly childlike yet decidedly vicious – are ambushing and devouring hapless solitary individuals. Day breaks, and a different evil is afoot. High school student Lin Shu-Wei stands accused of stealing class funds, protesting his innocence before his teacher, a devout Buddhist disturbingly empty of compassion, and classroom roused into a jeering, abusive uproar. A string of further humiliations lead to Shu-Wei compelled into community service – attended by the same band of handsome, sneering bullies who set him and abused him the worst. Delivering meals to isolated seniors in the same neighbourhood as the recent killings, the four boys find trouble, and trouble finds them. As events take ever darker turns, just who the true monsters are becomes harder to tell…
With the sweetness and bite of YOU ARE THE APPLE OF MY EYE (Fantasia 2012), Taiwanese director Giddens Ko proved himself a cut above the rest in the teen comedy department – he knows that the best humour is gonna hurt a bit. With MON MON MON MONSTERS! (shiver and shake when you say it!), Ko hasn’t abandoned that field, but rather dragged it down a dark alley filled with spook-house frights, precision-timed gags… and some genuine gutwrenching chills. It’s an impressive blend of genres, bouncing from comedy to horror in matters of seconds without ever making a mess. And when Ko lets the laughter die, the sinister streak of MON MON MON MONSTERS! Is likely to leave some lacerations.
- Rupert Bottenberg