Andrew (Jesse Lee Keeter) starts the night in a bar with two fingers of whiskey. He sits in a corner until Sarah (Tabitha Bastien) picks him up and he suggests a hotel room. Things get kinky and the handcuffs come out. Now, with the girl cuffed the real Andrew comes alive and threatens her with a knife. Oh but Sarah has a surprise in store for her aggressor. It seems that there is a lot that Andrew didn’t pick up and Sarah is more than she seems. The two spar verbally in a story told through flashback and object lessons, exploring themselves, their pasts, and what brought them to this moment.
In a script penned by Paul Morgan with story by Morgan and the film’s director, Byron C. Miller, ANATOMY OF MONSTERS attempts to explore the personalities, the histories, and the mental make-up that creates who we are be it a monster or not. Through flashback we learn who Andrew and Sarah are as they play psychological chess with one another.
The dialogue is what shines in this film as does the concept. A sociopath with a knife, facing a psychotic in handcuffs is a great springboard to explore the way we excuse our less desirable behaviors. But at the same time it points to its most obvious detriment. While the structure of the film works quite well, and the dialogue is far above average, Miller‘s direction lacks the polish and style that would segregate flashback from present, sincerity from grifting, and romance from aggression. There are some great moments to be sure and he is definitely an actor’s director. He knows how to pull genuine moments from them and this is where his work shines.
In the end, ANATOMY OF MONSTERS is a fascinating idea with great performances and good dialogue. The movie drones on for a bit, but is still something worth watching.
|The Anatomy of Monsters|