A monstrous family, the review: Meet my parents, but they’re scary …

A monstrous family: Massimo Ghini, Paolo Calabresi and Lucia Ocone during a scene

Meet mine. Except that dad is a vampire, mom a witch, and uncle … no one knows. In review of A monstrous family, the new film by Volfango De Biasi to be released in cinemas on November 25th, distributed by 01 Distribution, we tell you about a very particular film, the attempt to make our Addams Family in Italy, something that in fact had not yet been done. A sign that our cinema is moving, and try to try new paths. The story of two boys who, when they discover they are expecting a baby, bring their families together, gives rise to a series of gags, sometimes funny, sometimes more obvious. The result is less successful than the premises. But the film demonstrates the desire that there is today in Italy to break new ground. And then there is Lillo, who alone is worth the price of the ticket.

Vampires, witches and Frankenstein

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A monstrous family: Emanuela Rei and Cristiano Cacacmo in a scene from the film

Luna (Emanuela Rei) and Adalberto (Cristiano Caccamo) live in two apartments one above the other. One day, thanks to his cat, they meet. After two years we find them together, now in pairs. When they discover they are expecting a child, it is time for Adalberto to introduce his girlfriend to his family. He seems to be a little reluctant to the idea, but he really has no choice. The family is really special: his father Vladimiro (Massimo Ghini) is a vampire, his mother Brunilde (Lucia Ocone) is a witch, his uncle Nanni (Paolo Calabresi) is a sort of Frankenstein, but … you can’t tell, you have to see it. Luna seems to be scared, Adalberto is embarrassed. But then her family arrives. And everything changes.

A monstrous family: Lillo, Massimo Ghini and Lucia Ocone in the trailer

The Italian Addams family, Dark Shadows meeting Meet the Parents

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A monstrous family: Massimo Ghini and Lucia Ocone in a scene from the film

Italian cinema is finally trying to go further, to make genre cinema, to make products that have always been made abroad but which we have little coverage. Freaks Out by Gabriele Mainetti is the spearhead of a cinema that looks at the fantastic, at cinecomic, while remaining faithful to our historical roots, but there are many films that try to look beyond the usual production models. A monstrous family is a horror comedy, it is The Addams family in the Italian style, a Dark Shadows that meets Meet Me, or even, if you like, a sort of Hotel Transylvania in live action version: an all star game of monsters typical of the horror cinema. With a touch of dance from The Rocky Horror Picture Show and another from An American Werewolf in London. Thought to go out on Halloween, it was moved to avoid clashing with The Addams Family, and so it arrives at the cinema almost a month away.

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A monstrous family: a photo of the cast engaged in a dance

And finally Lillo arrives

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A monstrous family: Lillo Petrolo and Iliara Spada in one scene

As we told you on the occasion of the arrival on Rai 1 of Crazy for Football – Matti per il calcio, Volfango De Biasi is a very good director at packaging the right product for the situation every time, whether it is a targeted exit to the cinema, such as the Christmas film, or a first evening of Rai 1. And also to put something more into it. Because Come you want me seemed like the classic film with Vaporidis and Capotondi, like Night before exams, but it was so much more. And why Crazy for football it was far beyond the standard of the RAI prime time. Here he puts himself at the service of a very specific product, the comedy that jokes on the stylistic features of horror, a road very trodden by the British and Americans, but little traveled by us. And the game of references and jokes on the classics of the genre, albeit at times, works. The gags on a Frankenstein who, like the one by Mel Brooks, does not have an ab-normal brain but is really without it, are funny (Paolo Calabresi surpasses himself), as well as those on the invisible woman, somehow tear some smiles, Massimo Ghini and Lucia Ocone are good as usual. And the entry into the field of Lillo Petrolo, in the role of Luna’s father, enriched and forced, changes the tone of the film, which takes another direction, certainly funny. Lillo is the ace who upsets the cards on the table, today he is in a state of grace and can do anything. There are two aces here, because Ilaria Spada in the role of her partner, inspired by Kim Kardashian is no different.

Lillo & Greg, from TV to movies and directorial debut

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We get a glimpse of Tim Burton, but …

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A monstrous family: Massimo Ghini and Lucia Ocone in one scene

But Volfango De Biasi here chooses perhaps the easiest way to make a film of this type. Let’s try to explain ourselves. The moment we glimpse something of Tim Burton, of his Dark Shadows, we could expect a story about diversity, about its acceptance. It is a speech that De Biasi and whoever wrote the film have in mind, but which cannot get out of the film. In fact, when Lillo and Luna’s family enter the scene, the message becomes “there are those who are more monstrous than monsters“, that yes, it is an interesting and fun key, but also the easiest way, that of a safer comedy.

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A monstrous family: Pasquale Petrolo and Ilaria Spada in a scene from the film

A cinepanettone in costume

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A monstrous family: Paolo Calabresi during a scene

When we saw Gabriele Mainetti’s Freaks Out and we shouted a miracle for the fact that in Italy we looked at a type of cinema that we don’t do but abroad yes, it was because Gabriele Mainetti’s film actually reached the levels of an international film: writing, photography, interpreting, special effects, all production has reached that level. Here instead, having said that special effects have been used for a comedy, and often they have even succeeded, the writing remains lower, conventional, and even the packaging, direction and photography, remain in the wake of our most viewed comic films. The result is a sort of cinepanettone in costume. Or a Frankenstein film: the body of an international horror comedy, the head of a typical Italian comedy film. There is still an element in a monstrous family: with Barbara Bouchet and Pippo Franco (the grandmother of the monster family, now a ghost, and the grandfather of the forced family) the Italian comedy of the seventies returns for a moment. , but it is only a brief suggestion. Speaking of directors, in the middle there is also a scene of pure horror (her escape in the night in the car) shot with all the canons of the genre, including a perfect soundtrack by Michele Braga. It is a sign that Volfango De Biasi is good enough to do whatever he wants. And that’s why we expect more and more from him.


In the review of A monstrous family we told you about the attempt to make an Italian horror comedy, in the style of The Addams family. The film lives on a series of gags, sometimes funny, sometimes more obvious. The result is less successful than the premises. But the film demonstrates the desire that there is today in Italy to break new ground. And then there is Lillo, who alone is worth the price of the ticket.

Because we like it

  • The idea of ​​shooting a horror comedy, a genre not very popular in Italy.
  • The actors are good: Lillo stands out above all, but everyone has their part.
  • Gags related to horror classics have sometimes succeeded …

What’s wrong

  • … others a little obvious, because you are looking for the easiest way to comedy.
  • The film genre is international, but the packaging is not.

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