"The Morningside Monster" Is The Least Of This Movie's Problems Review

When I put on this badge, I don't give a rat's toosh who you are.

Oh good, warmed over horror tropes. Attack of the Morningside Monster (2014)--née The Morningside Monster--from director Chris Ethridge brings semi-supernatural horror to the Garden State when the local sheriff (Robert Pralgo) has to sort out a spate of local murder/mutilations happening in his sleepy burgh. It all started with this one small-time drug dealer chained to a table. He was a bit bemused, as you'd imagine, and then some masked weirdo comes in and starts cutting into him with a multi-tool when he should be using a circular saw. It's so annoying when people aren't using the right tools. But I suppose you go to war with the weapons you have lying around, you know like this Central American ritual mask. That mask was ridiculous.

Some moments show that Ethridge knows what he's doing. The framing might be interesting, Pralgo's performance comes off as genuine. But then the lighting will be silly, they'll lose the focus, the editing will be a second too early or too late or both, and (most often) a line reading will be so far off the actor must be saying it out loud for the first time. And that mask though. Throughout, the picture quality was rough and only passable on occasion. I know they had a Canon 5D because the sheriff was using one to photograph a body--and no way does a small town sheriff's office buy a $3,000 camera--so I can only assume that they didn't have the right lenses or didn't know how to use them. Then there was that moment when, standing over a horribly mangled body (to which the sheriff gives no sign of horror), the medical examiner says "Tom, you're gonna want to see this," and pulls out a little piece of tile from what was left of the victim's neck. If you're on set, doesn't someone think that feels a bit false? It isn't that the piece of tile is interesting, but that the piece of tile is probably the least notable thing when dealing with a horribly mangled corpse in the alley of a small New Jersey town.

Whatever happened with Jamie?

Bonus features

Audio commentary (with writer, director, and producer) and trailers.

"Attack Of The Morningside Monster" is on sale January 20, 2015 and is not rated. Horror. Directed by Chris Ethridge. Written by Jayson Palmer. Starring Nicholas Brendon, Robert Pralgo, Tiffany Shepis.

Jason Ratigan • Staff Writer

A lawyer-turned-something-else with a strong appreciation for film and television.  He knows he can't read every great book ever written, but seeing every good movie ever made is absolutely doable.  Check out his other stuff on Wordpress.


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