True Horror: Monster (2003) - Reviewed

We're back with another edition of True Horror. This time we're covering Monster. 

2003 gave cinema goers one of the most horrific true stories of all time. Monster is a real life tale of murder, sexuality, and love gone awry in a world of trashy landscapes, mental sickness, and bloodied back road prostitution. Capturing the dirty essence of hooker turned serial killer Aileen Wuornos, Monster is easily one of the best movies ever made and the greatest onscreen performance from the typically stunning and hyper talented Charlize Theron. Under a pile of makeup and facial prosthetics, Theron outdid herself by not only changing her physical appearance but by capturing the vocal inflections of Wuornos herself. 

Taking barely any pay by doing the movie just for the art of it, Theron and the crew of the movie had an extremely hard time selling Monster to a distribution company. Since it dealt with brutal content like rape, murder, and the morbid realization of Wuornos' personal mortality, Monster was not an easy sell. Monster was released to theaters within a year of Aileen's execution, striking a disturbing chord with the families of her victims as well as audiences in general. The movie went on to garner multiple award nods and pushed Theron's career to new heights. 

Filmmaker Patty Jenkins, director of next year's Wonder Woman, showed absolute control of her craft with this project. Armed to the teeth with grit and realism, her Monster is an American portrait of Daytona Beach white trash and male death backed up by a solid script and excellent performances all around. Considering this was her first full length feature, it's an amazingly concise entry that allowed Christina Ricci to continue stretching her dramatic legs as Theron finally became the A-list star she was aiming to be. Yes, Theron had many other roles before this, but Monster was the break out she had been waiting for. 

Did you say Oscar? You son of a bitch!!

Monster is a perfect specimen of everything hitting the right notes at the right time. The chemistry between Theron and Ricci is tangible, each scene is immaculately filmed, and the story delivery is ripped right from reality. Wuornos' crimes had made the cover of every magazine. Interviews with her had made their way to the internet. The team up of Jenkins,Theron, and Ricci took the last part of her life to task and made it a spectacle for the world to see for themselves. It may not be pretty to look at. But Wuornos' life was one of disgusting excess that stared death in the eye and tried to revolt against her own future by going on a spree of murder and theft. 

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