REVIEW: The Night Belongs To Monsters a.k.a. Las noches son de los monstruos (2021)

dir. Sebastien Perillo

As the metaphor goes, when one is experiencing a sense of despair it feels like you are being followed around by a big black dog. Well, what if this theory was turned on its head, and during times of misery it was in fact a big white dog that came after you?

Sebastien Perillo’s second feature follows young teenager Sol (Luciana Grasso) as she is uprooted and forced to live with her mother’s creepy and abusive boyfriend, whilst also being mercilessly bullied at her new high school. Sol begins to develop an intense connection with a big white dog that seems to be following her; a link that goes much deeper than any traditional relationship between human and a four-legged friend. Despite misgivings over whether the plot might cross into supernatural Homeward Bound territory, the film transcends its typical coming of age façade and combines a tale of real life terror with a hint of witchiness. 

There’s no doubt that The Night Belongs To Monsters is heavily influenced by Brian De Palma’s Carrie: both films’ narration are by a tortured teen who through a series of traumas develops supernatural ability, with Carrie’s being telekinesis and Sol’s being psychic animal control. However whilst The Night Belongs To Monsters is perhaps not as brutal or visceral in its lesson of why you shouldn’t piss off the quiet girl, it still projects a similar subtext of the teenage female as a witch, with Sol’s white dog certainly taking up the mantle of the traditional animal familiar. 

The Night Belongs To Monsters then is quiet and atmospheric, representing its young female lead as an individual forever looking in from the periphery of society. Whilst on the border between horror and supernatural drama, The Night Belongs To Monsters boasts an endearing indie vibe, making this a fantastical must-see. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Ygraine Hackett-Cantabrana

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