For a movie with a lot going for it - a killer title, otherworldly setting, competent below-the-line crew - Murder Me, Monster (Muere, Monstruo, Muere) is a letdown. An Argentinian production set deep in the Andes, the film goes for both visceral and existential horror, but the latter is so clumsily executed, it nullifies the former.
If nothing else, Murder Me, Monster opens with a banger: A sheep farmer gets her throat slashed in graphic fashion. We don’t see her murderer, but the police assumes the perpetrator is her husband and calls it a day (CSI, this is not). Soon enough, a second victim materialises, this time a policeman’s mistress. Again an obvious suspect emerges: He seems deranged enough to fit the serial killer profile, but the voices in his head may originate from somewhere else. A Guillermo del Toro-like monster, perhaps.
The beast’s most distinctive features - face, tail - are reminiscent of male and female sex organs, hinting at the film’s subtext (violence of gender is a constant, infectious threat). Yet Murder Me, Monster goes on either pointless or obtuse tangents that dilute any impact the movie could have.
As if the overarching hopelessness and tedium wasn’t enough, Murder Me, Monster also allows cryptic psychobabble (think True Detective, but terrible) that further undermines one’s attention. The hyper-intense characters are not good company and the one that vaguely resembles a recognisable human being gets knocked off half hour into the movie. The resolution is mildly clever, but by the time it unfolds, you probably have bailed, or fell asleep (my wife did both).