Films that focus on odd objects or occurrences tend to be an interesting lot. There’s usually an underlying subplot that the audience isn’t aware of at first. The Matt Vesely-directed film MONOLITH falls under this category. Lily Sullivan (Evil Dead Rise) plays a recently disgraced journalist who takes a job as a podcaster. Part of this job is to interview people who have witnessed odd events (which she doesn’t believe in herself). The film succeeds or fails on Sullivan as she’s the only character we see on screen throughout the runtime.
One day the reporter gets an email which is from an unknown person. She follows the breadcrumbs which lead her to information on a weird artifact. This information leads her down a dark and dangerous path. Will she find out the mysteries of the strange artifact or possibly more than she wants to?
Parts of Monolith work really well, especially in the the set up of the story in the first and seconds acts. There’s an unnerving tension that once it gets momentum never faulters until the third act. The story never fully reaches its potential with the final scenes not fully wrapping the mysteries up.
Lily Sullivan is the butter on the bread though. The intensity and anxiety that she portrays onscreen will keep the audience around until the credits rolls. Her all in approach makes everything quite believable, especially with the mysteries she discovers throughout. Her character not only wants, but needs to unravel the mysteries of the artifact known as
“The Black Brick”.
Vesely’s direction seems on point and gets the most out of his cast members (even if many of them are only heard via phone calls or flashbacks). There are a few scenes including horror, but nothing that is too over the top. The science fiction elements are decent enough, but possibly a more than less approach is what the film needs.
Monolith will keep audiences around for the performance by Sullivan, although they may be left with more questions about the artifact that go unanswered by the end.
The WELL GO USA distributed Film is in Theaters and On Digital on February 16, 2024