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Monster (Limited Edition) (Blu-ray Review)


The Film
The Video
The Audio
The Supplements


Docudrama based on the true story female serial killer Aileen Wuornos.

Writer/director Patty Jenkins helms Monster, the true story of serial killer Aileen Wuornos, played here by Charlize Theron who would go on to win an Oscar for her portrayal.

Wuornos led a hard life growing up in Michigan in an abusive family and turning to prostitution at the age of thirteen. Now a hardened and damaged adult angry with the world In Florida working as a street prostitute to get by, out of cash, and contemplating suicide, Wuornos heads into a bar to escape a downpour. There she meets Selby Wall (Christina Ricci), a woman in her early twenties who is there after her traditional Christian parents found out about her “lesbian lifestyle” and sent her away to be “cured.” Wuornos is at first hostile toward Selby, a mousy woman who is lonely and extremely desperate to make a connection with someone, especially another woman. Wuornos tells Selby she’s not a lesbian, but she quickly finds herself attracted to Selby and the two begin a relationship. Wuornos continues hooking to try to support the two of them, but the money isn’t enough, and troubles begin in their relationship. When one of her Johns brutally attacks and rapes her, Wuornos kills him. From that point, the hatred for men who pay her for sex bubbles up to the surface and she begins killing her customers whether they attack her or not as a means to get cash to support Selby. Meanwhile, Selby very slowly begins to realize the details of Wuornos’ activities and becomes complicit in her crimes.

It is Charlize Theron’s portrayal that keeps Monster a riveting film. She put on weight and eschewed all the glamour of her former modeling career to completely personify Aileen Wuornos as proven by a viewing of the documentaries by Nick Broomfield. Jenkins’ film has taken some criticism for being overly sympathetic to Wuornos and it can be seen as such, but it can also be seen as being a more rounded view of a human reaching the breaking point and what it is that drives someone to the ultimate evil. Most films on serial killers seem to begin from the starting point that the person was born inherently deficient. This film shows how a life filled with trauma, class persecution, and ultimately isolation which, ironically, led to the desperation of not wanting to be alone created a serial killer. It’s a mesmerizing and powerful overall film.

The Video

Monster was shot on fast speed 35mm Kodak Vision2 500T 5218, and medium speed 35mm Kodak Vision 200T 5274 respectively. The film comes to Blu-ray from Second Sight Films in an AVC 1080p encodement framed at 1.85:1. The somewhat desaturated palette and, soft focus, and heightened graininess inherent in the production are presented naturally on this release even if they don’t always make for the most stunning picture quality. There are also some slight issues with presence of scratches or dirt here and there, but this is film after all. Overall, it’s a pleasing transfer within the bounds of the production that looks organic.

The Audio

Monster comes with a lossless English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that is front-heavy, but within the confines of the film works. This is a dialogue-driven film, so a hyperactive mix here wouldn’t really work. The surround channels carry an appropriate amount of atmospherics and some solid effects when needed such as during a rainstorm and when there is a scene at an amusement park. Dialogue is clean and there are good dynamics. Low end is not staggering, but appropriately hefty for the content.

The Supplements

Second Sight comes through again with a fantastic array of bonus features and collectibles for this limited edition set.

Limited Edition Contents

  • Rigid slipcase with new artwork by Daniel Benneworth-Gray
  •  Soft cover book with new essays by Anton Bitel, Hannah Strong & Shelagh Rowan-Legg
  •  Six collectors’ art cards

Bonus Features:

  • Audio Commentary with Patty Jenkins, Charlize Theron, and Producer Clark Peterson
  • NEW Making a Murderer: An interview with Director Patty Jenkins (1080p; 00:47:41)
  • NEW Producing a Monster: An Interview with Producer Brad Wyman (1080p; 00:20:17)
  • NEW Light from Within: An Interview with DoP Steven Bernstein (1080p; 00:44:05)
  • Monster: The Vision and Journey (SD; 00:25:27)
  • Based on a True Story: The Making of Monster (SD; 00:14:42)
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary (1080p; 00:17:19)
  • Monster: Evolution of the Score (1080p; 00:15:45)
  • Original Trailer (1080p)

The Final Assessment

One of the great films of the early aughts, Monster is given the premier treatment by Second Sight in one of their limited edition packages for this release just ahead of the 20th anniversary next year. This one is must-own for the performances, the direction, and the excellent bonus features Second Sight gathers.

Monster (Limited Edition) is out in the UK 15 August 2022 from Second Sight Films

  • Rating Certificate: UK-15
  • Studios & Distributors: Media 8 Entertainment | Newmarket Films | DEJ Productions | K/W Productions | Denver and Delilah Productions | VIP 2 Medienfonds | MDP Worldwide | Zodiac Productions Inc. | Second Sight Films
  • Director: Patty Jenkins
  • Written By: Patty Jenkins
  • Run Time: 109 Mins.
  • Street Date: 15 August 2022
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: AVC 1080p
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Secondary Audio: English LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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Docudrama based on the true story female serial killer Aileen Wuornos.Monster (Limited Edition) (Blu-ray Review)