Monstrum Is a Creature Feature Filled With Claw Marks and Secretions

The monster of Monstrum.
The monster of Monstrum.
Photo: Shudder
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What’s better than a period epic filled with martial arts and deadly weapons? A period epic filled with martial arts, deadly weapons, and a giant killer monster, of course.


That’s what you get in Monstrum, South Korean director Heo Jong-ho’s Shudder original film coming to the streaming service next week. Set in the 16th century, it follows a village terrified by rumors of an ancient evil in the mountains. The king sends his loyal soldiers out to investigate and prove whether or not the evil is real. Spoiler alert, it wouldn’t be much of a movie if it wasn’t.

Monstrum won the audience award at the prestigious Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival in Spain, and now we can all check it out thanks to Shudder. Here’s the latest trailer for Monstrum.

Obviously, Monstrum features an all-star international cast, but the one face probably most recognizable to U.S. audiences is Choi Woo-shik. He played the brother that gets everything started in the Oscar-winning Parasite and is also in the you-have-to-see-it zombie thriller Train to Busan.

But, Train to Busan doesn’t have a huge monster and swordplay. So we’re gonna give the edge to Monstrum. It hits Shudder on May 14.

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo. Formerly of Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and Slashfilm. AP Award-Winning Film Critic and CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.



Meh. I’d agree if a movie set in the past dealing with a late 20th century CGI monster were rare. But from what I saw, stuff like this is a dime a dozen. First, Train to Busan and Monstrum shouldn’t be compared for quality. Both I feel are just too different kinds of animals to give one an edge over the other. Like comparing a great white shark to a Grizzly bear.

Train to Busan did use familiar tropes for a zombie flick, and maybe that’s the only thing that Monstrum has in common. It’s going to use all the tropes you have seen from these kind of movies that have been done from different parts of the world. But I believe that’s where the similarity ends.

Train to Busan executed those familiar tropes in a way that gave it a nice flavor. It had the atmosphere, the claustrophobic suspense, and for many people it was worth watching more than once. That should be the goal for Monstrum. To take those you’ve seen before but give flavor that feels like it’s new and refreshing.

However if you want to compare it to a movie with an all star international cast set deep in the past dealing with a cgi monster but also has swords and martial arts....Maybe Brotherhood of the Wolf? Actually watching that trailer made me want to watch Brotherhood of the Wolf again.