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Toronto After Dark Review: ‘Making Monsters’

October 16, 2019Nick Armstrong

If you've ever come across a YouTube video of a couple playing incessant pranks on one another for online notability, you've likely asked yourself the same questions that directors Justin Harding and Rob Brunner present in their horror-satire hybrid Making Monsters. Namely, how far will these people go, and how do they trust one another in their day-to-day lives?

The film follows Christian (Tim Loden) and Alison (Alana Elmer), a couple who are engaged to be married and are hoping to start a family in the near future. That is, if Christian's pranks against Alison stop getting in the way of that. So when the opportunity arises for the couple to escape for a few days — free of pranks, as Christian promises — they jump at the opportunity. Unfortunately for them, once they arrive at their getaway spot — filled to the brim with horror makeup props and masks — it's more than just the constant pranking that blurs the line between what's real and fake. Instead, the couple find themselves facing a series of horrifying circumstances that leave them fighting for their lives.

With some pretty potent things to say about internet culture's effects on our everyday lives — in particular, the way it can corrode relationships that are meant to be built on trust — Making Monsters stealthily shifts into something more generic somewhere midway through the film. Perhaps this is only because of the obvious misdirect it sets up with its plot, but the movie's many twists and turns certainly leave viewers with plenty to chew on.

Making Monsters makes its Canadian premiere at the 2019 Toronto After Dark Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 22 min.

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