Monolith Trailer Exudes Twilight Zone Vibes

Well Go Entertainment

I grew watching Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone. I would wait for the annual New Year’s marathon of every Twilight Zone episode. I even had Twilight Zone pajama pants! Ever since then, I’ve been chasing that high of another piece of media like Serling’s masterpiece. For this Trailer of the Week, I’m going to skip over J. Lo’s odyssey and shine a light on a smaller project: Monolith.

“I’m going to tell you a story…all you have to do is listen.” It’s this line that both opens and closes the trailer. The voice belongs to The Interviewer (Lily Sullivan) who is the film’s only on-screen actor. The rest of the cast is comprised of voices from phone calls or audio messages. The Interviewer is a discredited journalist who has returned to her parents’ home in search of a story. Luckily for her, a lead comes to her by way of an anonymous email about an object filled with immense powers. We see a glimpse of the artifact as the trailer opens: a massive rectangular unidentified object hovering in the air. The Interviewer begins to unravel what might turn out to be an alien conspiracy.

Monolith had its world premiere back in 2022 at the Adelaide Film Festival and had its international premiere at SXSW in 2023. The film also played other genre fests like Overlook, Fantastic, and Octopus Film Festival. Director Matt Vesely has been compared to Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, a low-budget cerebral duo of filmmakers who seem to take pleasure in messing with our understanding of time, space, and reality. For a first-time feature filmmaker like Vesely, that is quite the exciting comparison.

Dread Central calls the film “lo-fi sci-fi” which is what caused the connection to The Twilight Zone in my brain. That original series was simple in its execution. Sometimes it was one or two actors alone in a room who carried an entire story and managed to make a compelling, thought-provoking work. With the sparse cast, Monolith seems to be following in the footsteps Serling laid out decades ago. It also feels reminiscent of Vast of Night, another low-budget sci-fi flick that has been hidden in the depths of Amazon Prime that calls back to the days of radio dramas.

The burden of the film falls primarily on Sullivan as she is the only visible actor on screen. Genre fans will recognize her from last year’s Evil Dead Rise as Beth Bixler. However daunting the task might have seemed for Sullivan, her performance was consistently praised in the early reviews from festivals. From the glimpses the trailer gives us, Sullivan does not spend the entire film sitting in rooms and listening to faraway voices. It seems as though while she will be the only actor on screen, there is something that she attacks with an hammer at the end of the trailer. Only time will tell who (or what) is on the other side of that hammer.

Directed by Matt Vesely and written by Lucy Campbell and starring Lily Sullivan, Erik Thomson, Kate Box, Terence Crawford, and Damon Herriman, Monolith will be released in theaters on February 16, 2024.

Written by Tina Kakadelis

News Editor for Film Obsessive. Movie and pop culture writer. Seen a lot of movies, got a lot of opinions. Let's get Carey Mulligan her Oscar.

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