Monster is the disturbing story of a woman who, through a series of tragic choices and circumstances, succumbs to bitter hopelessness. It’s the true-life crime/horror story of Aileen Wuornos (Charlize Theron) — sexually abused as a child, a prostitute by age 13 and executed in 2002 for murdering six men. While despairing, she seriously contemplates suicide. But then she meets Selby (Christina Ricci) after mistakenly entering a gay bar and finds new hope. Though initially opposed to a lesbian relationship, Aileen takes a liking to Selby, allowing their friendship to develop into something sexual. She also continues “hooking” as a way to support herself and her new girlfriend. But after Aileen is brutally raped and nearly murdered by one of her “clients,” she begins killing whomever she seduces — first in self-defense but later in cold blood. Slowly, her life, her relationship and her hope begin to decay again.
Charlize Theron recently won a Golden Globe — and there are rumblings of Oscar — for her masterful portrayal of the homeless, helpless prostitute. She pulls off the stereotypical appearance and mannerisms while simultaneously shattering them by portraying a real person with real needs, hopes and dreams. Homosexuality is portrayed as a positive and acceptable lifestyle, and homosexuals are presented as outcasts searching for love while being oppressed by Christian bigots. In addition, the film adopts a fatalistic approach to life that suggests people are the product of their genetics and experiences alone and have no reason for hope. Christian anthropology affirms the effects of these but appeals to God’s gracious work in our lives and the hope that we have in Christ. If you need more reasons to avoid it, Monster contains brutal sexual abuse, homosexuality and a load of objectionable language.