The world is only one week away from learning the truth behind the monsters. The found footage film The Monster Project (2017), directed by Victor Mathieu and released by Epic Pictures, will make its debut on Friday August 18th.
Epic Pictures is no stranger to the found footage genre, having recently released the found footage horror movies The Dark Tapes (2016) and Jeruzalem (2015). The main thrust of The Monster Project (2017) is to prove once an for all whether monsters are real.
But wait, we’re getting ahead of ourselves! They say that timing is everything, and just a few days ago new found footage was recovered from one of the lead characters in The Monster Project! Character Shiori, a woman of Japanese descent, posted an eleven part YouTube series describing the horrific events leading up to the start of “The Monster Project.”
Is the recent recovery of this footage pure happenstance? Are there evil forces at work? Or is this simply a work of fiction created by the brilliant minds of the film’s marketing team? While we may never find out the truth, the footage is truly terrifying and disturbing—consider yourself warned!
Don’t Play With The Kokkuri San!
The Monster Project Web Series opens with a group of friends who find a Kokkuri San, the Japanese equivalent of a traditional Ouija board. The board was surreptitiously hidden behind a piece of furniture in Shiori’s (Shiori Ideta) apartment. After unearthing the ancient artifact, Shiori and friends Sam (Lewis Tan) and Masae (Kyoko Okazaki) play with the board. In typical Ouija fashion they call upon dead spirits and ask questions—and in keeping with the stereotypical horror film trope, they fail to respect the board and the power that comes with it.
Shiori is reluctant to use the Kokkuri San, only doing so begrudgingly and at the behest of her two friends. Her family has a strong foundation in religion as is evidenced by a ceremonial shrine setup in Shiori’s parents’ apartment (where the film primarily takes place). Using the Kokkuri San flies in the face of everything Shiori was raised to believe, and she will soon learn that there is a price to pay for her indiscretion.
Horror Done Right
We commend Victor Mathieu for creating a web series that hits all the right notes for a traditional horror movie. The story is creepy, the jump scares are plentiful, and the tension is expertly constructed in all the right places. He makes good use of muted unearthly sounds coming from the yet unseen entity stalking the main protagonist, Shiori. The cinematography makes use of a fishbowl lens, creating an alien feel and dreamlike aesthetic to the film—Is Shiori really experiencing these events or are viewers privy to her nightmare?
If there is one criticism to be had, it is the use of non-diegetic (background) music in an otherwise pure found footage film, which may disrupt the found footage conceit of the film for some viewers. Nonetheless, as a traditional horror film, the story and imagery are truly terrifying, a sought-after result that is difficult to capture.
Everyone is encouraged to watch the web series before The Monster Project (2017) is released on August 18th, as the web series adds texture to the feature film. The web series is also worth watching on its own as a standalone horror story.