While it gets off to a rather slow start, ANATOMY OF A MONSTER ends up being a decent character study of the sociopathic mind. It’s never too frightening or chilling but the sociopath does make you emotionally connect with them, which makes for an intriguing ride. What happens when the hunter becomes the hunted?
We start with a guy named Andrew who prepares for an evening out, then goes to a bar and finally meets a girl (this is the part that takes forever and could definitely have been shorter). After some incredibly awkward conversation, she agrees to go back to a motel with him (clue #1 that something is up because the conversation was really horrible and he was a douche). Andrew draws a large knife on her not long after she’s offered to wear handcuffs she’s brought along (clue #2, dude) but wavers right before killing her. What follows is the girl offering up some advice on how to get away with murder and a telling of her life story – from killing childhood pets to moving on to bigger prey. So who ends up dead at the end of the night? Do they both walk away?
Most of our female sociopath’s story is interesting and engaging. There were a couple of points where I called shenanigans though (although maybe I just watch too much “Elementary” and “Law & Order”, lol). She talks extensively about being careful but in one kill, while she IS wearing gloves, she crawls all over a dude’s car before killing him. I’m not saying that means she definitely would’ve been found out, I’m just saying there’s no way she didn’t leave behind hairs and/or clothing fibers. Also her most personal kill seemed questionable because well, she killed someone close and would’ve been associated. Overall though, fun to watch a little girl go from cat killer (no animal violence shown!) to teen “I’ll stab you in the eye with glass” emo to full blown serial murderer. And her reasoning behind things while not making anything better IS at times understandable. She’s a well-spoken killer (but then aren’t many?).
This is mostly a one-room film with lots of talking, so there’s not a lot going on otherwise (minus a few flashbacks) but the story is fairly well-rounded and shown in a way that makes sense. (Sometimes flashbacks do not work, here they did). Big ups to Tabitha Bastien for her portrayal of our dear killer. While some things seemed a little out of the realm of entirely possible, she still nailed the characterization here. Director Byron C. Miller came up with the story and it’ll be interesting to see what else he brings to the table in the future, I think.
Wanna see how it ends? Check out ANATOMY OF A MONSTER on IMDB to learn more!