FrightFest 2023: Minore Pits Monsters Against Musicians

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I’m a simple man. I like monsters, so whenever I hear about a new monster movie, I’m immediately intrigued. That’s what initially caught my eye about Minore, and the more I learned about this film, the more I wanted to watch it. For example, I heard that the story was heavily influenced by H. P. Lovecraft, and the plot synopsis that came with the trailer described it as a “quirky action horror comedy.” It sounded pretty great, so when I received my screener, I couldn’t wait to find out what Lovecraftian thrills this movie had in store.

Minore was directed and co-written by Konstantinos Koutsoliotas, and it stars a humongous ensemble cast that includes Davide Tucci, Efi Papatheodorou, Daphne Alexander, Apollon Bollas, and Meletis Georgiadis. The film is set in a small seaside village in Greece, and one day, a mysterious mist creeps out from the water and descends upon the town.

At first, the locals don’t think too much of it, but soon enough, an army of deadly monsters emerges from the mist and wreaks absolute havoc. On their own, the villagers are helpless against these creatures, so they’re forced to stick together to survive. They form an eclectic, ragtag team of would-be heroes, including a visiting sailor, some local criminals, and an overly enthusiastic bodybuilder, and they fight back in a desperate attempt to save their home.

As you might be able to guess from that plot synopsis, Minore relies heavily on the strength of its characters, and for my money, they’re a pretty mixed bag. Let’s start with the good. Some of the acting is a little hit or miss, but on the whole, they’re mostly played well. What’s more, director and co-writer Konstantinos Koutsoliotas also does a good job of giving each one of them their own unique personality and vibe, so they feel like real, complex individuals rather than just a mass of nameless extras.

A man and a giant monster
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I had a really good time getting to know them, and for the first 30 minutes of the film, I even wanted to go to this village and spend some time there. It seemed like a really fun place, so I had a ball just watching these people go about their normal, everyday lives.

But after a while, that charm began to wear off. I started to get bored with these characters, and I realized that even though I liked them, they weren’t quite strong enough to carry an entire 110-minute movie. To be fair, I didn’t mind them during the action scenes. When the monsters went on the attack, I had no problem watching these people fight back.

My issue was with the in-between moments. See, other than the final act, Minore never goes all-out on the horror. For most of its runtime, the film just gives us a few hints here and there of the terrors to come, and even when those hints are pretty substantial, they never last very long. The majority of this movie is just people talking or playing music, and while I don’t mind that in principle, it only works if the characters are great.

But unfortunately, these aren’t. Sure, they could’ve worked in a different film, but they’re not good enough for this one. Like I said, I got bored with them after about a half hour, so I spent the rest of the movie hoping the monsters would take center stage sooner rather than later.

And once those monsters finally did come front and center, I have to say, I wasn’t a huge fan of them either. In fact, my feelings towards them mirrored my feelings towards the characters pretty closely. The first few times I saw them, I thought they were awesome. I had a really good time watching them wreak havoc, but after a while, their charm wore off too.

Two skeletons in a car
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As I was watching Minore, I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what my issue with them was, but after I thought about it a bit, I realized it was the creature designs. These monsters just look boring, so once you start seeing them all over the place, they lose their appeal pretty quickly.

All that being said, I didn’t think everything about Minore was a mixed bag. There were some things it did quite well, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention them too. First and foremost, we have to talk about the humor. As with any comedy, I didn’t think all of the jokes worked, but the ones that did far outnumbered the ones that didn’t.

This film is pretty funny, but the laughs aren’t nearly as pervasive as I expected them to be. I’d say they’re only about as frequent as the jokes in something like a typical Marvel movie. There are a lot of them, but they’re not quite enough to make the film stand or fall on the strength of its humor.

Secondly, I also thought Minore had some really good gore effects. Limbs are torn off, people melt away into little more than skeletons, and there’s even a scene where a guy gets his face ripped off, and all of those moments look excellent.

But unfortunately, those two strengths aren’t quite enough to save this movie. On the whole, the boring monsters and the weak characters outweigh everything Minore gets right, so while I by no means think this film is terrible, I’m sad to say that I don’t have much of a desire to ever watch it again.

Minore had its European premiere at FrightFest on August 26, and it’s having another screening on August 28.

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Written by JP Nunez

JP Nunez is a lifelong horror fan. From a very early age, he learned to love monsters, ghosts, and all things spooky, and it's still his favorite genre today.

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