Review – ‘Monsters Within’ Directed by Devin Montgomery

Written, directed and starring Devin Montgomery, ‘Monsters Within’ is a 2024 horror thriller that also stars Kendall Cavener, Skeeta Jenkins and Samuel French.

Written, directed and starring Devin Montgomery, ‘Monsters Within’ is a 2024 horror thriller that also stars Kendall Cavener, Skeeta Jenkins and Samuel French.

Devin Montgomery plays Luke Wolf, a war veteran who comes back to his town to meet his sister who has Downs Syndrome. Wolf is a drifter and it seems his demons have come back home with him. Joining forces with the fierce Lily,  Luke sets his sights to keep the darkness at bay whilst Sheriff Duhart and the local thug Cyrus have plans of their own. With the sights of a mysterious creature in the woods getting  more popular than ever, it seems everyone will soon be in the fight of their lives. Luke and Lily will have to rely on each other and resist the temptation of falling in love as they take on the dark forces threatening to devour the town.

Being the writer, director and star of the film, Devin Mongtomery has his work cut out for him but he manages to do justice to each of these roles with ease. The script is exciting and has plenty of twists and turns as Luke and Lily are put through a series of tumultuous tests. The characters are fleshed out; Luke is stoic yet mysterious whilst Lily is fiercely independent and can perfectly handle herself. Every horror movie needs a detestable villain and here, Montgomery has written Cyrus to be one hell of a bad guy. There is plenty of  action as well and within the chaotic moments, Luke is constantly reminded of his sister who becomes his beacon, his light and  his hope as he descends further and further into darkness.

The cast is perfect and each actor manages to bring his or her character to live perfectly. Mongtomery is flawless as the young drifter Wolf while his real life sister Daniella Montgomery plays her onscreen sister Elle without fail. Samuel French as the villain Cyrus makes for a potent antagonist. Skeeta Jenkins as Sheriff Duhart keeps things interesting whilst a slew of secondary characters are also perfectly casted. In short, the cast manages to do the script justice and their performances elevate the film a notch.

Taking inspiration from a multitude of creature features, Montgomery ensures an aura of mystery around the narrative. As characters talk about sightings of a beast in the woods, the director manages to cultivate a sense within the audience that the beast might not be real at all. However, slowly and gradually, the truth regarding the matter begins to emerge and the penultimate twist will indeed blow your socks off. As this central twist simmers in the background, Montgomery packs the story with plenty of human drama as the multitude of characters collide together in a chaotic struggle, each working in the service of their own goals and desires. The ending is unexpected and manages to give closure to Wolf’s journey, offering a mix of redemption and melancholy for our anti hero.

Another notable aspect of the film is its potent cinematography. Shot on location in Cooper, Texas; Devin Montgomery frames the film in a way that complements the narrative perfectly. Setting the film in a crumbling town in rural America, Montgomery manages to highlight that the protagonist, just like the town, has seen better days. Going into the seedy, violent underbelly of this place, Luke Wolf will find demons, both real and figurative, come to haunt him. Using deep colour hues and a multitude of visual tricks, the director keeps the story chugging along at an exciting pace. The camera zooms in shakily as the battle within Luke threatens to spill out and bring forth unforeseen consequences for all involved. Thus, Monsters Within is a potent drama that reflects as much on the protagonist’s inner struggles as it does on the demon lurking around town.

The film looks fantastic, boasts great performances and goes into unexpected directions that viewers seldom expect. As Devin Montgomery’s first performance, the film is a home run; one that manages to impress in more ways than one.

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