In time for Halloween is this monster in the closet tale that is a watchable, if derivative horror tale from Jacob Chase (adapting his own short film). An absorbing vignette working off a parking-lot attendant who comes across a tablet harboring voraciousness within it.
A smartphone app. is the impetus for a feature-length creation revolving around estranged autistic boy Oliver (an effective Azhy Robertson of Marriage Story).
This way of communication puts the school pariah and ridiculed kid in touch via small-screen to Larry, a ‘misunderstood monster.’
Gradually, his divorce-nearing parents played by Gillian Jacobs and John Gallagher, Jr. and his bullying classmates get a taste of a sizable, skeletal creature with spindly fingers who at first isn’t a threatening presence, at least to Oliver whom he wants to befriend.
The virtually wordless Robertson and Larry (with practical features for the most part) are the more involving figures here with the former sensitively drawn and the latter suitably creepy.
Jacobs and Gallagher among the auxiliary performers don’t fare as well within the way Chase activates taut scenes where an atmospheric production supports an unstable existence.
Internal angst is palpable for the spread of something demonic with surrogate needs apparently as portions of the screen play become a bit silly after a spookier interlude when the eBook is opened. And, the conclusion reflects the wishy-washy nature of a narrative being a parable connected to loneliness and yearnings for (and by) technology.