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Film: Monster

Monster (2003) is a biographical crime drama about serial killer Aileen Wuornos, a former prostitute who was executed in 2002 for killing seven men in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Wuornos was played by Charlize Theron, and her lover, Selby Wall, was played by Christina Ricci (Wuornos' lover's name was actually Tyria Moore, but her character's name, age, and appearance in the film were changed for legal reasons). The film was written and directed by Patty Jenkins.

This movie has no connection with the anime and manga Monster, or the Pixar movie Monsters, Inc..


This movie provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Tyria Moore, Wuornos' real-life girlfriend, looked like this. Selby Wall, on the other hand, is played by Christina Ricci.
  • Asshole Victim: Let's face it, Aileen's first victim had it coming. The rest... didn't.
  • Beauty Inversion: Charlize Theron gained between 20 and 30 pounds and shaved her eyebrows to play Wuornos. With all the press for a young beautiful actress with that kind of dedication, she got the Best Actress Oscar in a walk.
    • Christina Ricci also gained 20 pounds for the role and both actresses dressed in very un-glamourous clothing.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Several, but Aileen's failed job interview at the hands of a very smug lawyer deserves mention.
    Lawyer: I see you're from Daytona Beach, all of that looks great, it must be wonderful. But can I tell you something? When the beach party is over, you don't get to say, "You know what? Now I think I'd like to have what everybody else has worked their entire life for." It doesn't work that way.
    Aileen: (beat) Fuck you, man. Yeah, fuck you! YOU DON'T FUCKIN' KNOW ME!
    Lawyer: Okay, great. That's great. See, now I'm so sorry I didn't hire you before. Leslie, could you please escort Miss... I don't even know her name because of course she doesn't have a resume... out.
    Aileen: I don't need a fuckin' escort, you piece of shit! What, you think I'm a fuckin' retard? Take your fuckin' job and fuckin' shove it!
    (Leslie hesitantly tries to escort her out of the building)
    Aileen: Fuck you, Leslie!
  • Disposable Sex Worker : Subverted. The first victim, played by Lee Tergesen, tries to turn Lee into this but she kills him.
  • Doomed by Canon: Well, doomed by real life. After killing her first victim, Aileen makes a desperate attempt to quit prostitution and find some other means of earning a living. It... doesn't go well.
  • Driven to Suicide: Aileen was fully intending to kill herself prior to meeting Selby.
  • Fan Disservice: Aileen and Selby's sex scene, although this is probably intentional (yet it is also played in a rather sweet manner). Also, the scene with Aileen glancing at her naked, bloodstained body in the bathroom mirror.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: The main character, believe or not. While the movie thankfully doesn't turn her into a 'hero' per se, it makes a lot of effort to potray her as a victim of circumstances, who honestly tried to change her ways, but the cruel world pushed her right back and wasn't without compassion (see Pet the Dog below). Real Life Aileen Wuornos was a sadistic murderer who enjoyed torturing her victims, her claims of Freudian Excuse or killing her first victim in self-defence had no evidence to back them up and she blew her brass ring by beating up her husband. The movie basically turned her into an Anti-Villain.
  • Howl of Sorrow: When one of her victims starts crying and begging for his life, Aileen snaps and shoots him dead while letting out one of these (although it's more like a Howl Of Rage).
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Aileen doesn't consider herself gay, but enters into a loving relationship with Selby.
  • I Have a Family: One of Aileen's victims tries this very shortly before she pulls the trigger on him.
  • Jerkass: Good luck trying to find a moment in the movie where Aileen herself isn't a bitch. She arguably crosses into Jerkass Woobie territory on a few occasions, though.
    • The lawyer Aileen launches a Cluster F-Bomb against.
      • The cop who picks her up while she's jobhunting.
  • Large Ham: Most of the main characters play everything like this, even the most innocuous scene. This contributes to the absurdly-funny atmosphere despite the tragedy of the events.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Part of Aileen's motivation for the murders is so she can rob her victims afterwards to support herself and Selby.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: Aileen. Selby: "You can't kill people." Aileen: "SAYS WHO?"
  • Miss Swears-a-Lot: Aileen loves her swearing.
  • Oh Crap : Aileen when she finds one victim's badge.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Aileen is mostly referred to as "Lee" throughout the film.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Aileen kills her first victim after he rapes and brutalises her. With all her later victims, however, she believes that she is paying evil unto evil, when, in all actuality, they didn't deserve it.
  • Pet the Dog: Aileen spares one of her intended victims out of pity, after it turns out he's never hired a prostitute before and is extremely nervous.
  • Psycho Lesbian / Depraved Bisexual
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran : Thomas hints at being this, during his conversation with Aileen. "What you're feeling right now is guilt, over something you had absolutely no control over. Do you know how many of us came back from the war, and almost killed ourselves because we felt exactly the same way?"
  • Shout-Out: "Gassenhauer" is played, an obvious homage to Badlands
  • Shown Their Work: The way the movie portrays what happened to Aileen was probably very close to the truth. She killed her first victim out of self defense, and her rising schizophrenia likely helped her jump to some unusual conclusions that lead her to continue.
    • The director also personally met with Wuornos to get the film as accurate as possible.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Completely justified. After being raped by the man who turns out to be her first victim, Aileen escapes, grabs his gun, blasts him several times, continues firing into his corpse and does not stop until she's completely emptied the clip. Shortly after, she starts beating his corpse with the gun whilst punctuating each beat with rage-filled insults.
  • Villain Protagonist


A Mighty WindFilms of 2000 - 2004 Monster Man

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