Director – Marjorie DeHey (Goldenrod, The Same Conversation)
Starring – Willie Aames (Bibleman, Dungeons and Dragons), Billie Proffitt (Killer Pad, The Dead Undead), and Ryker Overacker (Goldenrod)
Release Date – 2020
Rating – 2/5
Last month I was asked to review several films that flirted with horror but wasn’t quiet horror films themselves. These movies has horror elements or darker tones but were actually dramas that flirted with the line of horror or thriller. Recently I’ve watched Spin the Wheel and The Other Side of Darkness and was very surprised by how much I enjoyed these dark dramas. Spin the Wheel was exactly what I thought it would be but The Other Side of Darkness completely caught me off guard. It was nothing like I expected but was still a fun watch.
A few days after I was asked to review this two non-horror titles I was sent another dark drama that borrows from horror. The film, Bottle Monster, was streaming on Tubi for free and the team behind it was asking that I check it out to draw in some buzz for the release. I agreed and here we are. I want to thank them for bringing this one to my attention.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a mother and her young son who move into an old house in hopes of a new beginning. She’s a recovering alcoholic and believes a change in scenery will help her kick the habit and re-establish the relationship she once had with her son. As she struggles with her own demons she is confronted by something sinister living in the home and is putting her own child in danger **Spoiler Alert**
I was really looking forward to this one. The synopsis and title really peaked my interested and I couldn’t wait to see another monster movie centered around an alcoholic mother and her young son. However, what I actually watched was a depressing drama with some jump scares and a “monster in the old house” side story that never fully expands into what it should have. I wanted to like this one but it wasn’t for me. In fact, I have no idea who it was intended for but those with a taste for horror or dark dramas will be disappointed.
The acting in this one is not the worst I’ve seen but there was some moments that made me roll my eyes or ask why the scene wasn’t reshot. Most of these scenes involved the son which could be chalked up to his age and inexperience but I’ve seen films with much smaller budgets with younger actors able to pull it off. With that being said, I really did enjoy Billie Proffitt’s performance. I liked her character and she did a fantastic job in the role.
The story for this one was not what I was expecting and was a bit disappointed in it. The film tries to use the metaphor or a drunk mother battling demons while she is in a home with a literal monster. The film needed to focus on the mother’s struggles or moving into a home that is inhabited by something sinister. Having the film split it’s time between the two does both story arch’s injustice while creating a film that tries the viewer’s patience.
Finally, the film doesn’t really hit you with some blood and gore. We get a few little glimpses here or there of the rat in the basement and the “thing” in the house but that’s really about it if you want to ignore the horrible visual effects. If you are looking for memorable deaths or a monster movie in tune with The Gate or Ghoulies then you will be very disappointed. Overall, Bottle Monster had an interested idea with poor execution. It feels like two ideas clashing together resulting in a messy film that is not as enjoyable as it could have been. I wanted to like it but I’d be lying if I said I did. Skip it.