Muere Monstruo Muere, Murder Me Monster (2018)
Directed by: Alejandro Fadel
Written by: Alejandro Fadel
Starring: Esteban Bigliardi, Jorge Prado, Romina Iniesta, Sofía Palomino, Tania Casciani, Víctor López
MURDER ME, MONSTER (2018)
Written and Directed by Alejandro Fadel
Spanish with English Subtitles
On Blu-Ray from Anti-Worlds Releasing
A rural police force in the Andes Mountains discover the body of a decapitated woman at a farmhouse. When a second victim is claimed, the police suspect the killer is the latest victim’s mentally ill husband. However, policeman Cruz thinks there’s more to the crime than meets the eye and that the culprit may well be something not of this world, born of pure evil.
Argentinian horror thriller MURDER ME, MONSTER isn’t your usual type of genre movie. Its slow pace and thoughtfulness sets itself out from the pack as we get to know the small, tight-knit community set in the sprawling, mountainous landscape.
With its opening scene of a woman battling her recently slit throat, MURDER ME, MONSTER starts as it means to go on with decapitations part and parcel of the movie. It’s grisly and incredibly life-like to watch, which makes for uncomfortable viewing from the beginning. Our first interaction with the police force introduces us to lead character Cruz (Víctor López), a kind yet brooding copper who’s love life is complicated to say the least. When events hit a bit too close to home, rather than be furious with the suspected murderer, he appears to be the only one that’s listening. Finding a tooth lodged in the severed head of a victim and a green goo-like substance dripping from the wound, Cruz begins to suspect that the killer is anything but human – something that chief suspect David also mutters during his interviews with a psychiatrist. Having access to his medical interview tapes, Cruz begins to listen to the suspect’s thoughts which further fuels Cruz’s theories.
There’s various aspects in the movie that convince Cruz that David may be onto something, from the presence of offroad bikers to the geometric shapes and words uttered to David telepathically “Murder Me, Monster”, also known as MMM, all marrying up with the landscape of the mountains they reside in. Unfortunately, due to a lack of substantial dialogue and cohesive plot, it’s not explained well enough to understand or be put across enough with merit.
The film is very loose with its narrative, seemingly preferring to be open to interpretation rather than deliver a straight-forward thriller. Its vagueness reminds me of many arthouse movies, where less is supposedly more, and I suppose it is in this movie, with the visuals saying more than words ever could. Beneath the surface of the film and its murder investigation, we get a sense of detachedness, loneliness and perhaps insecurity, in particular from the male population. Phallic and yonic imagery is also used in the latter end of the movie. Throughout the film, you get a sense of isolation from the characters and the environment they live in. Its rural setting feels cut off from the rest of civilisation and the small community and police force only have themselves to deal with. With chief suspect David clearly suffering from mental health issues, and other police offers clearly under a lot of stress and therefore resorting to medication, it feels as though every single one of the citizens is undergoing some kind of trauma. The result on-screen creates a disorientated feel to where even I as the viewer wasn’t quite sure what was going on at times.
Throughout the film, we see hints at who is behind the killings. Visuals of a creature in the shadows, a woman being grabbed around the throat by some sort of tentacle or tail, and the clues that Cruz comes across, all of them lead to something sinister indeed. The tease of a creature throughout the movie leads up to a thrilling finale that picks up the pace of the film and sends it into overdrive in the final act.
Although plodding and abstract with a loose plot, there’s something compelling about the film. It’s an eerie, yet beautiful watch with some truly wonderful scenes to behold. MURDER ME, MONSTER isn’t your usual type of horror fare but is certainly one to experience.