Dir: Patty Jenkins
Star: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern
Cert / Year: 18 - R / 2003
Format: DVD R1

Aileen Wuornos was a prostitute, she was a product of a broken home, but more over she was a crazed serial killer. After being brutally raped by one of her clients she killed him. This caused something in her to snap, and from then on she went on a killing spree which left seven men dead. This is her story and that of her lesbian lover Selby.

Serial killers have had a rough deal in films recently (No really). The gurning hysterics of Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector have ensured that any celluloid incarnations of these warped individuals have become overblown caricatures of reality. Thankfully this story has tried to bring this three-ring circus back down to earth and tell the story of the world’s first female serial killer.

The most striking thing about the whole film is Charlize Theron's unbelievable transformation into Aileen Wuornos. It is simply one of the most stunning pieces of acting you will see. She manages to capture the mannerisms and looks of Aileen perfectly. In fact she is completely unrecognizable from herself, for once a totally justifiable Oscar choice. Add to this another solid performance from Christina Ricci and you have a fine central cast.

So far so good then, that is until the story starts to reveal itself. What have they done? In true Hollywood style they have taken the real story and turned into a love story! What's more they have made Aileen the hero of the piece, a poor abused person who only killed to support her pushy lesbian partner. I'm sorry but the simple truth was this woman was a complete psycho especially towards the end of her life and to ignore this defies logic. To make her a victim just shows how warped Hollywood is. Furthermore yet again the lesbian in the film has been demonized (look no further than the box art to see what I mean), a selfish character that drove Aileen to kill. Who ever created this warped homophobic vision of reality should be locked up, as they have ruined a chance to tell the real story and give us a true insight into the life of a serial killer. I get the feeling that a central character without any redeeming features, and a lesbian who isn't a bad person are two concepts that are alien to the major studios mentality.

Monster is an average love story with a bit of killing thrown in. If it weren’t for the fantastic central performances it would have disappeared without a trace. The killings for the most part are off screen (bar the first killing after a brutal rape) and without them the film can never do the true story any justice. The sad truth is this is a wasted opportunity to tell the real story of Aileen Wuornos, as what we are left with is a rather sanitised affair of the heart.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Picture 2.35:1 Anamorphic A good picture, but the film is a pretty drab affair.
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Fine, but not required to do much.
Features Making of featurette
Verdict Not a very good disc for a modern release, more information about the true story of Aileen would have good. However given that a seperate documentary is available I can see why they didn't give more.

Rating: 1 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Back Top Home