‘Monster,’ ‘Night Swim’ and ‘Ancient Empires’ Debut on Home Entertainment — Plus, a Giveaway!

MONSTER. (DVD Artwork). ©Well Go USA Entertainment.


Monster (Drama, Thriller)

The highly lauded drama “Monster” debuts on Blu-ray Tuesday, April 9, from Well Go USA Entertainment. The film is also now available to own on Digital.

After a mother (Ando Sakura, “Godzilla Minus One”) discovers that a teacher’s bullying is behind her young son’s sudden strange behavior, she storms into his school demanding an explanation. Continually left without satisfactory answers — and with an increasingly distressed child — she furiously escalates her concerns to the school board and the media. But as the story unfolds through the multilayered perspectives of mother, teacher and child, the real truth gradually emerges — and proves much more complex than anyone could have expected.

From internationally acclaimed, award-winning director Hirokazu Kore-eda (“Shoplifters”), “Monster” was written by Sakamoto Yuji (“In Love and Deep Water”), with music by late Academy Award-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto (“The Last Emperor”). The cast also includes Ando Sakura (“Shoplifters”), Nagayama Eita (“Undercurrent”), newcomer Kurokawa Soya and Hiiragi Hinata (“One Second Ahead, One Second Behind”).

“Monster” was nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Best Screenplay and Queer Palm awards. Following its North American debut at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival, “Monster” garnered critical accolades at numerous festivals, including Chicago (Gold Q-Hugo Award winner), Mill Valley, Newport Beach (Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actor), Vancouver (Audience Award) and the Hamptons. The Blu-ray features both English and Japanese language tracks as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.

Night Swim (Horror, Thriller)

From James Wan’s Atomic Monster (“The Conjuring” franchise) and Blumhouse (“The Black Phone”) comes “Night Swim,” available to own on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, April 9, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The film is also now available on Digital.

Wyatt Russell (“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”) stars as a former major league baseball player, forced into early retirement by a degenerative illness, who moves into a new home with his wife (Oscar nominee Kerry Condon, “The Banshees of Inisherin”) and their two children. The new home comes complete with a backyard swimming pool, but a deep secret surfaces and unleashes a malevolent force that will drag the family into the inescapable depths of terror.

Bonus features on the release include a feature commentary with co-writer/director Bryce McGuire (writer/director of original “Night Swim” short the film is based on) and four featurettes — “Masters of Fear,” “Demons from the Depths,” “Into the Deep” and “Marco Polo” — that give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at filming the movie’s underwater pool sequences, how the movie transformed the children’s game Marco Polo into an eerie game of terror and more.

TV Shows

Ancient Empires (Documentary)

Delve into the extraordinary lives of Alexander the Great, Cleopatra and Julius Caesar with the HISTORY Channel series “Ancient Empires,” now available to own as a two-disc DVD set from Lionsgate.

Filled with thrilling live-action sequences and explosive battle scenes, “Ancient Empires” sheds new light on three compelling, enigmatic figures whose passion and drive to rule at all costs — as well as their eventual downfall — shaped the world we live in today.

The three-episode docuseries also features insightful expert interviews from renowned authors, generals and historians, including Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and historian Stacy Schiff; retired four-star General Stanley McChrystal; former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO General Wesley Clark; retired Major General Marcia Anderson, the first African American woman to achieve the rank; and renowned Cleopatra expert, Dr. Shelley Haley.

Front Row Features is giving away a copy of the award-winning drama “Monster” on Blu-ray to three lucky readers. To enter the contest, simply email socalmovieeditor@aol.com by April 15 for your chance to win. Good luck!