Unvisible Monsters Review


   Unvisible Monsters is a short film where a boy discovers a parallel universe after hacking his video camera, and uses the help of a crackpot scientist to prove the “unvisible”.

Known for his work on Superstore, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Office, and Arrested Development, Ross Novie wrote, directed, and produced this science-fiction comedy, which was filmed and released during our current global pandemic. 

Hudson Novie stars as Flip Furrington, the boy who cracks the code for parallel world travel. As far as I can see, this is his acting debut and a rather impressive one at that. Jay Rondot stars as Dr. Carl Tinder, who more so cracks jokes than codes. He appears to be a mix of Steve Jobs and his ability for presentation and a crazy conspiracy theorist who perceives himself to be the smartest man in the room, maybe when he is alone. Both actors share the screen as the protagonists. For a film created and shot in such a short time frame, these two have wonderful chemistry. They more often than not would remind me of a live-action grounded take on Rick and Morty and I mean that in the most positive way possible. Kaliko Kauahi, known for her role as Sandra on Superstore, also joined the film in a cameo capacity. Although she wasn’t in the film long, it was a nice surprise to see her show up in another project and bring her typical style of humor.

Underneath the science fiction plot and socially relevant themes, this film shines through its use of humor. There is a recurring joke that addresses the fact that this young boy constantly gets into cars with strangers, highlighting the fact that he should never be doing this, yet it continues to happen. The character of Dr. Carl Tinder has a moment where he gives an impactful speech about the fears of big pharma during an open mic comedy show, shortly after, he interviews himself about the conspiracy theory of the week on his podcast. Jay Randot executes these lines and jokes with great timing. I found myself laughing out loud quite frequently.

Working with such a micro-budget, this film seemingly made great use of the resources at hand. Everything from the editing to the prop creation for each scene felt like it was done by a larger studio. The fact that this film was created by a team of 3, highlights the passion, detail, and effectiveness that was put into the production. The cgi for the alternate dimension was certainly a downgrade from what is ideal these days, but given the budget and limited capabilities of the pandemic this aspect is much easier to look past when you have fun chemistry and entertaining dialogue throughout.

As far as the plot goes, I found a few minor plot holes that slightly took me out of the story, but given the nature of this film it isn’t something that will ruin the experience. If anything it just shows an investment in the story by focusing so much on the details of something intended to be mindless enjoyment. Currently the only way to watch this film is through Vimeo for $4.99 to rent or $19.99 to own.

I think the most notable point of this film is that the proceeds will go to charities. The Actors Fund (helping Entertainment Workers impacted by the pandemic) and Food on Foot (helping the Los Angeles homeless). It’s satisfying to see that a passion project can turn into something more and help many others through entertainment. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the creativity and humor of this film and could see this starting a wave to smaller scale budgeted films as a standard. The pandemic has put a major limitation on the movie industry and this is a wonderful example that quality films can be done with those limits.

Unvisible Monsters feels like an episode of Rick and Morty that brings a clever and creative take on a pandemic with it’s intentionally over the top humorous B-movie style.