The Monitor

July 20, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Anna (Noomi Rapace) had been in an abusive marriage of years, but she finally managed to escape. She and her son have relocated to a distant new town, where she hopes a new life can begin. Despite the distance, she is still distressed about her past and worries that her husband will hunt her down. As such, she tends to be overprotective of her son, though she takes steps so that he can sleep on his own. She buys a baby monitor for his room, so that she can know he is safe, but also give him some space. The monitor soon begins to transmit strange audio from somewhere outside of the room, which causes even more concern Between the odd noises and her other worries about neighbors and her ex husband, Anna is in a fragile state. Are these things simply her overactive imagination, or is there a darker force at work?

Also known as Babycall, The Monitor is a tense thriller that mines familiar ground, but tries to put in some fresh spins. The barrier between reality and imagination is razor thin in The Monitor, so don’t be surprised if you aren’t able to detect which is which. This works well in some regards, as it keeps you in the dark and on edge, but also feels like a cheap shortcut. A certain level of consistency with that device can lure in viewers and keep them in suspense, but The Monitor is content to throw out consistency, which lessens the impact of some scenes. Noomi Rapace has the lead and is quite good, bringing the paranoia to a palpable level. The film ends up being much better than it should be in fact, due to Rapace’s dynamic turn. While the plot devices left me let down, the overall atmosphere and Rapace’s excellent performance help balance the scales. So if you like psychological thrillers, The Monitor is worth looking into.

Video: How does it look?

The Monitor is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a rock solid transfer, with clean visuals and no errors I could detect. The image has good detail, so softness is never a concern, while the print is clean and free from debris. I found colors to be a little muted, but that works within the film’s visual design. The contrast performs well and that is important, since the visuals tend to be on the dark side. So overall, a good looking presentation on all fronts.

Audio: How does it sound?

The original Norwegian Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is present and sounds quite good. The main surround presence comes in the atmosphere side of things. This is a tense thriller, so the surrounds help to crank up the tension and that enhances the experience a lot. The score also puts to the speakers to good use, while dialogue is clear and clean. This disc also includes an English language track, as well as English and Spanish subtitles.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes some deleted scenes, as well as the film’s trailer.

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