Julien Neaves, Caribbean Head Writer
So this year I was introduced to the brilliant work of Trinidad and Tobago-born director Damian Marcano. I’ve previously reviewed his shorts Chee$e and The Fire Queen, and for this review we will be checking out fantastic 2015 short Heart of a Monster.
Based on a story by TT actor/writer/musician Muhammad Muwakil, Heart of a Monster follows a desert-dwelling tribe plagued by an unseen monster. The young men are groomed to defeat the mysterious beast though none ever return. The film was shot in Curaçao and the language is Papiamentu (the Portuguese and Spanish-based creole language spoken in the Dutch Caribbean) with English subtitles.
The highlight of the film was the costuming. From the masks to the body paint patterns, I loved the rich detailing of these tribal people. And the vast locations combined with gorgeous cinematography foster an otherworldly vibe.
The story (which I won’t spoil) is equal parts epic and tragic, shining a harsh light on the foibles of human nature and the dangers of blind fear. I did get slightly confused plot-wise coming down to the third act but it is a minor quibble. Heart of a Monster had me hooked from start to finish and I unreservedly recommend it.
Editor Jules’s Score: 8 out of 10
You can watch the film for yourself by clicking the link here. And you can check out more great Caribbean content below:
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.