Monolith (2016) [FrightFest 2016]

MONOLITHA couple with some big issues buy a brand new, state of the art, highly intelligent car.  While thee husband is away on business, the wife grows suspicious and decides to drive this new vehicle across the desert to go join or confront him with their toddler son in tow.  After an accident on an unused desert road, she finds herself locked out of her fancy car with her son locked in.

Directed by Ivan Silvestrini and written by Elena Bucaccio, Stefano Sardo, Ivan Silvestrini, and Mauro Uzzeo based on a story by Roberto Recchioni; the film feels as though written by possibly a few too many people.  There are good ideas in there but also so many frustrating ones.  For example, how does the most intelligent car, safest car ever made, a car that can tell there Is a baby in the car by his weight, how does it not know that the child is left in the car which is now locked without an adult weight in it?  Manual overdrive is one thing; a car this intelligent is highly flawed if it cannot override this when a child is left inside alone.

The lead character of Sandra spends most of her time alone and does some of the stupidest things to advance the story, the way she is consistently taking bad decision to make it hard to truly care about her. Thankfully, actress Katrina Bowden gives a decent performance.  She shows care and worry for her child and regret about putting him in his predicament.  She almost saves the film but not quite.  The adorable twins playing her small son, the Hodges, do as well as can be expected of toddlers and they add a ton of cuteness to their scenes.

The rest of the cast is seen so little that their performances are hard to judge. Through all of this, the film looks stunning.  The way it’s shot shows the natural beauty of the California desert.  The cinematography by Michael Fitz Maurice frames this beauty and turns it into post cards and tourism adds for the desert.  He makes it look alost appealing to go get lost there.

Monolith is a stunning film with many things, illogical things done to advance the plot, a lead that doesn’t pay attention.  Her acting is good but her part is lacking, she’s the most attention challenged character seen in a long time.  The film has a bunch of potential but wastes all of it by having many logical holes.  This is possibly one of the most frustrating films of the year so far.