The murdered body of a petty criminal is discovered in the woods near a small New Jersey town. Sheriff Tom Haulk (Robert Pralgo) and Deputy Klara Austin (Tiffany Shepis) quickly realize that this is not a simple isolated incident, and that there is a masked serial killer running around their quiet town. They must stop the killer before the little town and its inhabitants are torn apart by mystery (or more literally by the killer).
‘Attack of the Morningside Monster’ is an entertaining low budget slasher film that perhaps bit off more than it could chew. The plot is meant to be complex and layered, but this does not play well with the overall look and effects the filmmakers were able to achieve on their limited budget. There is disjointedness between what feels like the film’s vision and its actual realization.
Despite being a slasher film there is not an excessive amount of gore, and what little does exist is not always the most realistic looking. There is too little emphasis put on visualizing the murders themselves. The interactions and conflicts between the townspeople is an interesting and necessary aspect of the film, but it should not be given unbalanced priority over the murders driving the plot.
There is a bit too much dialog throughout the movie. It does not feel overly forced, but a bit more subtlety might have improved the story’s realization a bit. The decision to use dialog to drive the film is likely related to budgetary constraints, but such limitations cry out for creativity not a lot of talking.
‘Attack of the Morningside Monster’ just does not realize its potential and wanes as an average slasher film. It is a somewhat entertaining watch for fans of the genre, but it is definitely not for everybody.
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