Made on a shoe-string budget of $5k (according to the film’s IMDb page), Unvisible Monsters (2020) delivers quite a lot of laughs and science in a short amount of time. Unvisible Monsters is written and directed by Ross Novie as his sophomore feature film project, and also stars Hudson Novie and Jay Rondot. The charm of this movie is inescapable, with its main characters seemingly channeling the mad-scientist/kid-duo of Rick and Morty, and it is even creepier because they are not related.
Not quite family-friendly, Unvisible Monsters pokes fun at TikTok type social media use, stranger danger, drug use, child neglect, and secret government experimentation — this is not all-encompassing, as no one is safe from the Novie’s dry, funny-because-it-is-awkward level of humor. Unvisible Monsters is not laugh out loud funny, but it is certainly a dark comedy that zaps a new kind of wave-length into the Lovecraftian horror genre.
An unconventional scientist, Dr. Clark Tinder (Jay Rondot), stumbles upon an uploaded video of a child’s tragic death, one that shows proof of “the other world”, a concept about parallel dimensions that he has believed in. After tracking down the uploader of the video, a young boy named Flip (Hudson Novie), the two combine their scientific and technological know-how to establish a strong portal-link to this other world. Accessing the parallel universe unleashes a can of worms that sees people dropping to their deaths, as if dying from a viral pandemic, however, as the only ones who can see the invisible monsters from this other world, they must find a way to access deeper levels of human perception, unlocking their minds to close the portal.
For being a film with such a small budget, visually, the movie is quite impressive. The directing and editing were okay, but I was pleasantly surprised to see older Tron-looking graphics used for portraying the otherworld, which instead of coming off campy, seemed like the right fit for this movie. The best part of this movie was the acting, from small to starring roles, the cast was perfectly in tune with each other, bouncing dry pieces of humorous quips off of each other while keeping the straightest of faces. Rondot as Dr. Tinder stole every scene though, portraying a deeply flawed and depressed mad-scientist as someone who is incredibly loveable, his performance topped off with Novie bestowing him a celebratory dance sequence a la Joker (2019).
Writer/director Ross Novie builds an otherworldly, neon-lit parallel universe in Unvisible Monsters, ending its story on a juicy cliff-hanger while also not seeming to beg for a sequel — quite the accomplishment. The poster for this movie looked very cheap, and marked as a Coronavirus inspired movie (it is not, in my opinion) I was not expecting much, however, I thought Unvisible Monsters did a fantastic job with mincing dark comedy with some truly sci-fi concepts, such as parallel universes, fly spaghetti-like monsters, and accessing the furthest reaches of human-brain capability.
MOVIE RATING — 6.5 out of 10