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NOTE: mild spoilers below
The pace and tone of Scandinavian horror films is quite unlike their American counterparts - witness the oddly haunting vampire art film, "Let The Right One In" - and they have a tendency to be more rooted in the real, mundane world in a way that makes them just a little bit more realistic and a whole lot creepier. "The Monitor," like "Let The Right One In," takes place in a large, drab, anonymous modern apartment complex, the new home of a woman on the run from her abusive former husband. She's pathologically worried about her son, who the father had abused, and is terrified of everyday life. Nonetheless, she accidentally befriends an equally tremulous man, a salesperson at a local electronics store who becomes her ally in a psychological melodrama that involves menacing social workers (the Scandinavian welfare state gone bad!), school teachers, and the spectre of her violent ex-husband. The power of the film revolves around lead actor Noomi Rapace's bravura performance as the nervous, jumpy mother, aided by an equally strong supporting cast, and a sparse, yet chilling script. If you like horror-thrillers, but are looking for a change of pace, give this one a whirl. (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue movie reviews)
I just watched "Babycall" (The Monitor) with Noomi Rapace and it was wonderful. For a horror movie (though I'd rather call it a thriller), it had more suspense and psychological intrigue with a storyline built to allow for inference by the audience and not like our (terrible) American horror movies (with a few rare exceptions) that are built on gore, blood, grotesque sequences of violence, with little to no storyline or one that is severely lacking in depth, originality, and development, and sometimes with too much CGI usage too. This film is blunt in it's subject matter. In other words, instead of alluding to, with great emphasis, the subject matter of child abuse, the depictions of child abuse at its most severe is graphic, and nothing is left to the imagination. There isn't a lot of cinematography used to try to highten the suspense, shock, and horror of the violence portrayed. The images are clear and feel like one single and/or continuous, real-life shot. They stand alone and often speak for themselves. Be prepared for some tough violent and disturbing imagery. The musical score and gray/white coloring also give the film a more haunting depth and sense of isolation, pain, confusion and tension. Yet at the same time the notes of the musical score feel soothing but in a taunting sort-of way. The settings also rarely change: a school, apartment, hospital or the store in the mall. The settings are so rigid it feels crushing and overwhelming. This constant repetition of man-made settings creates a sense of deja vu, claustrophobia, and listlessness.Read more ›
Paranoia, loneliness and murder are intertwined in this slow pace but suspenseful and bleak norwegian film full of unexpected twists and full of figuring out on our behalf. If you would like to wacth Noomi Rapace in another great performance, I recommend you "Beyond" (Svinalängorna).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An interesting concept. The ending was a bit odd but definitely worth the watch.Published 10 months ago by Meru B.
I couldnt really tell what this movie was about from the preview and description, other than the mother buys a baby monitor to keep an eye on her son after a domestic violence... Read morePublished 10 months ago by FrauHaas
Love Noomi Rapace. Really a good, "I wasn't sure I saw that coming," movie. If I say anymore, or share the one potential flaw, I'll end up with spoilers.Published 10 months ago by Trish
Four stars for style and two stars for a convoluted ending, so let's call it three on average. Twists are great so long as the audience has a sliver of a chance to guess what they... Read morePublished 10 months ago by SFort