Starring: Charles Cantrell, Ryan LeBoeuf, Michael Brown, Danny Countess, Shana Dahan, Dee Drenta, Megli Micek, Kynan Dias, Chaz Greco, James Greco, Jackson Larson, Ellen Lawson, Christopher Boeres Hipp, Patrick Sean Clark,
Plot: James and Carl were only 10 years old when they kidnapped and murdered 3-year-old David McClendon. They were caught, tried, convicted and placed in separate juvenile facilities. At 18-years old, both are given new names and released back into society - much to the horror of the nation. They can have no contact with each other or with their past friends or relatives. The story follows the lives of these two boys as they try to start over, escape the past and survive the growing outcry following their release.
My Review and Thoughts:
If you know me I am a diehard lover and supporter of independent films. I believe that true cinema can be graced by seeking the simplest thing. Sometimes the lowest budget, no name actors, and an indie director ends up creating a masterpiece that sadly mainstream culture will never see, never Grace the beauty and truth and reality that indie cinema can hold. Sometimes wonderful cinematography, performances can create a brilliant piece of cinema. Sometimes amazing cinema can come out of nowhere. Independent cinema can be looked at in many, many genres and many ideas.
When I talk about independent movies I'm talking about true independent films. I'm talking about films where the directors, the actors, the writers, spend every moment trying to raise that 15,000 or hundred-thousand-dollar mark to create a film. I'm not talking about Hollywood produced independent movies, because those are not indie, they are graced with higher behind-the-scenes bigwigs that stick their nose where it doesn't belong just because they added money.
I seem to have gotten off the subject but it's a powerful subject that plays with my mind when dealing with independent cinema. That word independent is stuck on countless things this day and age that has no meaning whatsoever to grace that title. Too many bigwigs, too many Hollywood pushovers, too many budget tampering and producer edit destroy the vision of what it was all about.
The movie I am reviewing 2 Little Monsters is a brilliant, thought provoking, provocative, radical, intense, eye-opening, and a true mind-numbing independent movie experience. This movie leaves a lasting impression. It plays with the emotions to the point that you are stunned, that you comprehend the brutality and the outcome to a tragic moment of pure kiddie, adolescent adult toned evil.
This is a story that is ripped from the headlines. The scenarios and situations and the victim are changed in the movie but this tragic case did happen in real life. It involved two 10-year-old boys, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables kidnapping two-year-old James Patrick Bulger from a mall in Merseyside, England in 1993. They then lead him 2 miles with many different locations, one time dropping him on his head. They then lead him to a train track. There they savagely started beating him, throwing rocks, poking him with sticks. He was struck over 40 times until he was dead. They positioned him on rail road tracks letting the train run over him splitting him in half.
Robert and Jon both were charged and sent to jail, but each of them got out on their 18th birthday. They murdered a small child savagely in cold blood for kicks. They were bored. They wanted to have fun. They wanted to do something and so that's the true story that this movie is loosely based on. In this version, it has two 10-year-olds kidnapping and killing a small 3-year-old boy and then once they are out of jail they go about trying to live their life. They try to adjust to a normal typesetting, work, relationships, but the past comes spiraling downhill.
From the very first scene of the movie it grabs you and you know what you’re getting into. This is an emotional drama that plays out in vivid detail through wonderful amazing acting, awesome direction, stunning cinematography, and a beautifully tragic woven story.
This movie is an intense trip and truly an open conversation. If viewing with a group, this will cause a discussion. This movie will cause many questions and cause many reactions for those viewing it.
This details about what causes a random act of violence. In this the kids were just bored. Believe it or not random acts of violence just happen. Some people just decide to do it. We want a darker answer. We want to know why. Are they psychotic? What was the childhood like? Are they insane? Some can't just believe that random acts of violence happen, well it does.
Just like in real life, the two boys were brought out of jail and their names were changed. They were given new driver’s license, a new history and moved far away from where the incident happened.
This is directed by an awesome director David Schmoeller. Truly gifted inside the horror world. He brought out many cult classic pieces of cinema. He mastered many B-movie, drive-in films of the past. He gave horror fans such films as 1979's Tourist Trap which he also wrote, 1986's Crawlspace which he also wrote starring the one and only acting master Klaus Kinski (1926–1991),1989's Puppet Master which he also wrote, which is a true favorite of main and the creation of awesome horror character icons,1992's Netherworld which he also wrote. He is great at creating characters and emotional moments.
Charles Cantrell does a fantastic performance in this movie. Mysterious and dark and very reality based. He played the part very memorable. I love his eyes, they show so much intense emotion. He captures the moments and the feel inside a very believable story. He owns his part. He gave a sadistically dark and twisted psychopathic persona to the part.
Ryan LeBoeuf plays the character of James awesomely. Where Charles Cantrell plays the psycho, Ryan plays the meek hidden one. The performances are like yin and yang. Total opposites which make the story more interesting and woven together in a complete crime story.
Even though the parts were small flashbacks, each of the young children were played flawless by Chaz Greco, James Greco, and Jackson Larson. They owned their parts and made you believe the destruction and the pain. All three are truly gifted performers.
Ellen Lawson gave a very memorable small part that stood out in a warped fashion of parental evil. Very memorable part as mom and son come together.
The movie touches on a subject matter that we see today, kids killing kids, murderers walking free. An idea of a second chances or forgiveness or a public lust for revenge. The public lust for bloodshed, violence. I think the movie touches on the underlining aspects of criminal justice. The idea of being punished for a crime. A witch-hunt mentality. A public outcry. I think the movie showcases all that in a reality-based setting. This is not like other the other horror films that the director has created. This is about the subject matter that's truthful. A subject matter that we all can relate to. This day and age as we flip the news on or read the newspaper, never knowing what crime is going to happen next. This is about two young kids murdering the younger kid. An idea that can they truly be changed? Can forgiveness be given?
I enjoyed the whole film. Dark and twisted and reality based. It built the characters and created an atmosphere that grabs the viewer and holds onto them to the very end.
I highly recommend this true independent film.