Blu-Ray Spotlight: Monolith

Matt Vesely’s low budget sci-fi mystery starring Lily Sullivan hits physical media tomorrow.

celluloid consommé
4 min readApr 22, 2024
Box and disc art photo courtesy of Well Go USA.

Monolith might be something of an under-the-radar film. It was to me at least, not having heard of filmmaker Matt Vesely prior to this release. But since I had been looking forward to Evil Dead Rise and enjoyed that film, having Lily Sullivan as the sole physical performer in Monolith was the biggest draw for me, and perhaps that would be the case for most other people.

Vesely’s film follows Sullivan as a journalist working on a new investigative podcast. With a looming deadline for the first episode and no clue where to pin her topic she receives a cryptic email telling her to interview a woman who was in the possession of a mysterious black brick. Desperation gives her motivation to follow these instructions, opening somewhat of a gateway into something the interviewer cannot back out of. For fans of speculative science fiction and podcasts of the scripted and un-scripted kind, this film will be of special interest as it weaves through the mysteries it creates and attempts to solve in keen compelling fashion.


Still courtesy of Well Go USA.

Monolith is presented in its original 2.00:1 aspect ratio, a slight deviation from standard scope presentations yet becoming normalized by streaming shows everywhere. The video itself, as is standard for Well Go USA Blu-ray masters, is presented as an AVC encode.

The range of colors work well within the confines of the disc’s dynamic limitations, most shots hitting the threshold of darkness just before banding and artifacts would appear. There are some instances of lifted blacks primarily at the dead start of the movie as we pull out of an extreme close-up of a microphone but this is the sole outlier of testing the limits of Well Go USA’s AVC encoding.

The constant blue-green hues with interruptions of whites and greys do their job to subdue and frankly hypnotize its audience to keep their attention glued to the screen in addition to the mystery the film proposes. The film can look slightly muddy at times but details shown are never truly compromised and edges remain fairly crisp when they are in focus.


Still courtesy of Well Go USA.

Monolith offers two audio options for the film proper, both in English: a DTS-HD 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track. The 5.1 mix offers a wonderful experience in how its sounds are organized, from the Foley art of the outdoor wilderness immediately outside the house the interviewer is working from to the score that punches through.

It gives dramatic beats a finality that sells the gravity of the situation for our lone character of the film, and plays a part similar to the visuals that commands attention not unlike a form of hypnosis. The surround is utilized well in subtler ways, with whispering conspiratorial voices swirling around us in parts in between interviewing and editing sessions.

Special Features

Still courtesy of Well Go USA.

Despite Well Go USA’s history with special features (that is to say simply not having any), Monolith comes with two items on the disc other than the film’s trailer and other Well Go trailers, which always play on disc startup and from the menu:

  • Behind the Scenes (7 mins, 49 sec)
  • Writer, Producer and Director Commentary

Final Thoughts

Still courtesy of Well Go USA.

Director Matt Vesely has made something compelling here and for some the journey may be more fulfilling than the destination. And the journey is a strange and winding one, something that Sullivan pulls off with so much artistry in her craft that ultimately sells anything that might be too bewildering to accept even in our suspension of disbelief.

As an exposure to Vesely’s film this is a strong release. It gives the film a presentation that matches the enigmatic and seemingly impenetrable nature of its central mystery, but could do more on a more robust higher quality transfer. The commentary track’s inclusion does so much more for the film’s release to shed light on the development of the project. So much so that it tips my decision to highly recommend this release, showing what Well Go USA can do for small independent genre filmmakers.

With Well Go USA’s typically lower price point and cost-effective disc authoring their model fits titles like Monolith much better than their larger titles that seem to be closer to acceptable and serviceable, rather than exceptional or excellent. I digress, however the recommendation for this title stands strong.

Disclaimer: Well Go USA has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.