Set in the Andres, Murder Me, Monster is an Argentine horror, written and directed by Alejandro Fadel.
The Spanish-language film is a horror-crime hybrid and kicks-off quickly with the discovery of a murdered woman which attracts the attention of the rural police officer, gravel-voiced Cruz (Victor Lopez).
Officer Cruz works quickly to find a suspect, a seemingly troubled man named David (Esteban Bigliardi), who happens to be married to Cruz’s lover, Francisca (Tania Casciani).
When interviewed, David attributes the crime to a “monster” that is using certain phrases to communicate with him telepathically, including the mantra of the film’s title – Murder Me Monster (or Muere, monstruo, muere in Spanish).
Soon Francisca ends up killed and her connection with David gives Cruz an even stronger reason to assume he already has the right suspect in his sights. But David’s words and elements of geometry play on Cruz’s mind and lead him to think that something bigger is at play.
And as he wrestles with the conflict in his mind, his colleagues press him to take action and more lives are savagely taken.
Murder Me, Monster is an interesting, captivating film which draws you in, shrouding you in mystery and giving you enough intriguing elements to draw you along – much like the police in in the final act in the film.
Cruz’s lack of emotion and the strange crowd of characters that orbit him give the film a curious, surreal feel. And thanks to the insanity of David, insomnia of Cruz and his heavily medicated Captain, it’s hard to tell what is real and what is imagined.
As the Chupacabra-esque Monster prowls the dark, rocky landscape it’s hard to tell who will be the victim and who will be the assailant.
The lingering scenes with disconnected dialogue and long brooding silences add to the unease and bewilderment, which is entirely Fadel’s intention.
There is also gratuitous use of parkas and hand flares which is reminiscent of John Carpenter’s The Thing, another film which is very much a crime-horror in that much of the film is spent trying to figure out who the killer is. It obviously also works brilliantly filmically and the contrast of complete darkness and bright colours provides lots of places for nasty things to hide.
Murder Me, Monster won’t be for everyone. Though it does jump straight in with the blood and intrigue the slow pacing and perplexity would be enough to turn many horror hounds off.
But if you can tolerate those elements along enough to appreciate the artistic cinematography and unusual creature, you’ll find it to be a film worth watching.