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Home > Monolith (2022): A Review

Monolith (2022): A Review

Monolith (2022): A Review

An Eerie Film That Leaves Audiences With Their Jaws Dropped

Imagine getting a strange brick. It’s black, almost obsidian-like, and rectangular, and it seemingly appeared out of nowhere. With this black brick comes a strange power, which is described by most as terrifying yet compelling. You would think that a brick, an unassuming brick like this, has nothing to do with this new force in your life. But no matter how hard you try, even if you try your hardest, something stops you from destroying it. Now you’re stuck in this endless cycle of fear and paranoia, living with an unnatural source that you both hate yet can’t live without. All because you received a strange brick on a random day. 

This is the story The Interviewer, played by Lily Sullivan, hears multiple times, over and over again, for an unbelievable story she was following for her popular podcast, “Beyond Believable.” Monolith follows Sullivan’s character as she chases down lead after lead in order to piece together the story behind this mysterious black brick that’s left many people all over the world traumatized. However, the questions only lead to more questions, and it twists the mind into rethinking that maybe… not everything is as it seems.

 “Beyond Believable”: More Than Just The Podcast’s Name

It all started when The Interviewer received an email from an anonymous source with a phone number, a picture of a woman, and one message: “The truth will out.” The Interviewer, looking for inspiration to finally start her podcast, decided to call the number and interview the woman in the photograph. That’s when inspiration struck, and she found a story worth looking into. 

It’s revealed at the beginning of Monolith that The Interviewer is actually a recently disgraced journalist due to her errors in checking her sources’ background information. That led to a defamation trial against the accusatory claims she wrote about in her article that was also prevalent in the media. She did lose the case, and she had issued a public apology, even though she personally still believed in her claims. After losing the case, her job, and her credibility, she’s found herself back at her parents’ house trying to move on through the means of this new venture: “Beyond Believable,” a podcast that explores things unexplainable (which is not limited to life beyond Earth and other conspiracy theories). 

The Interviewer saw this more as a stepping stool to regain her life back rather than something she was passionate about, but after hearing her first interview’s story, she was led to another source, which intrigued her. The black brick, or rather bricks, are a global phenomenon that seem to have been afflicting hundreds of people, and yet, no one’s ever been able to find an explanation. That is, until The Interviewer found out about it. 

After posting the first episode, the podcast blew up with record numbers, which added fuel to the journalist’s fire in seeking out the truth. Interview after interview after interview, she’s only left with more questions, and she’s unable to make sense of the strange symbols inside the bricks, the frantic pleas to stop investigating, and the looming paranoia and fear that she won’t like where her investigation ends.

Monolith (2022): A Review
Lily Sullivan as The Interviewer | Credit: Well Go USA Entertainment

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The Truth Will Always Come Out

The overall theme throughout Monolith is, in fact, related to seeking out the truth. As mentioned before, The Interviewer was disgraced for her unethical ways of obtaining information for her investigations. That habit seems to be one that dies hard as she fails to comply with journalistic ethics. For example, she cuts out certain parts of interviews to twist her interviewee’s words and pushes her investigation forward for her own selfish ambitions instead of listening to callers who beg her to stop. 

Seeking out the truth is an important purpose that journalists, no matter where in the world they are, have to maintain and serve for the public, and as The Interviewer’s grasp on reality starts to slip from her fingers, she realizes that the truth may be closer to home than she realized. It begs the question: will The Interviewer finally tell the truth?

An Ode To Podcasting

Watching Monolith in 2024, a mere two years after it was originally released, it’s refreshing and almost amazing to see the journalistic process behind constructing “Beyond Believable.” Nowadays, anyone can just make a podcast, and social media boasts the plethora that have been made either by comedians telling funny anecdotes that no one can relate to, influencers giving opinions on issues that transcend themselves, and, most of all, misogynistic men who degrade women and teach young boys how to be “just like them.”

Lily Sullivan plays the only on-screen talent throughout the entire movie, and everyone else is merely involved through phone calls, voicemails, and the rare video chat. Her portrayal of the journalistic process was meticulous and neat, and her interviewing skills were notable enough to be taught in college-level classes. Moreover, Sullivan portrays the “disgraced” aspect of her character very well, showing the missteps her character takes with nuance. These missteps also correlate with the character’s slow descent into a work-induced mania, which, if any other actress other than Sullivan were to do, it wouldn’t be executed as well.

Monolith is an eerie sci-fi thriller that, from the very start, has audiences on the edge of their seats. The pacing of the movie keeps that same energy throughout, with a gripping final act and an ending leaves you with a question nagging at the back of your mind: was the truth finally revealed?

Monolith (2022): A Review
Lily Sullivan as The Interviewer | Credit: Well Go USA Entertainment

Monolith (2022) Official Well Go USA Entertainment Trailer

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My name is Reya Krishna, and I’m currently a Journalism student at the University of North Texas. Writing is one of my biggest passions, and working in entertainment as an editorial writer is my dream. Be sure to check out my Instagram (@shreyakrii_) to be updated with other pursuits of mine!
Cailen Fienemann is a current student at Le Moyne College pursuing her BA in English and Communications with a film studies minor and a creative writing concentration.  Though uncertain about her career end-goals, any job that allows her to write is a cherished one indeed.