2023 Festival Review – How to Kill Monsters

Jamie Lancaster (Lyndsey Craine) stands bloodied, wielding a chainsaw, surrounded by the gory remains of her friends, before Britain’s take on Gale Weathers enters the frame describing the treacherous crime scene as Jamie is escorted away by police. However, this conclusion is far from over as we learn what really happened that one fateful night, as Jamie joins forces at the station with crooks and officers to fight off a motley crew of bloodthirsty brutes. 

Stewart Sparke’s How to Kill Monsters is a genre busting exploration into monstrous frights as the film takes on a slew of creatures, fanged beasts, and evil mogwai-like savages. Combine this with the throwback vibes to classic 1980s horror that we all know and love (Gremlins, The Thing and Evil Dead 2 to name a few), How to Kill Monsters is a bona-fide must-see for any thrill seeker desperate for a bloodied, hilarious dash of monster madness. 

Taking centre stage is the immense practical effects that would make the likes of Tom Savini proud as each and every inch of the lovecraft-esque creatures are made with old school tender, love and carnage as Sparke utilises specially crafted miniatures and meticulously crafted puppetry to bring the entire film to life.

Complimenting the immersive visuals is the fantastic performances from all, with each character adding an individual flair to the story. Special praise has to be applied to the one and only Jamie Lancaster, played by Britain’s own scream queen, Lyndsey Craine. Sparke and Craine have been collaborating for years, with a particular mention owed to the award winning splatter fest, Book of Monsters(2018). With the duo growing together as creative minds over the years, How to Kill Monsters is a bespoke feature with story beats that feels incredibly natural and despite the fanasticallity. 

Seconding the warmth that the film emits is the quick witted self-reflexivity that runs concurrently with the narrative. Each scene is basked in laugh out loud meta-humour that makes for an entertaining ride from start to finish, with the jokes-a-minute approach giving the likes of Scream, The Cabin in the Woods and Return to Horror High a run for their money. 

How to Kill Monsters is a must-see tale of the unexpected, with every act bashing apart any form of predictability, ultimately making for one hell of a gnarly ride!

Check out the full festival programme and get your tickets here!!

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