Yo yo yo, ladies and gents of the internet, I return again for another film review from the past and this is one I did not expect to be talking about for a while but since I saw bored the other night I decided to re-watch Monsters. This small little indie sci-fi film I saw in the cinema in 2010 and really liked it even though a lot of people didn’t and since the director is taking on the upcoming Godzilla film I thought I’d have a look at this film again and see if it was still a good time or not.
The story for the following:
“Six years ago NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A probe was launched to collect samples, but crashed upon re-entry over Central America. Soon after, new life form began to appear and half of Mexico was quarantined as an INFECTED ZONE. Today, the American and Mexican military still struggle to contain “the creatures”…… Our story begins when a US journalist agrees to escort a shaken tourist through the infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border.”
I really enjoyed the story this film had to tell as it wasn’t your convention kind of sci-fi film, while it certainly aliens, they were never the main focus of the film. Instead it is about two unlikely humans who happen to be paired together and have to venture through dangerous territory in order to get home. There are definitely some recognizable sci-fi elements, but the way it is blended together with the indie sensibilities and drama aspects are pretty smart and unexpectedly heartfelt too. The film is also one you have to invest time in as it doesn’t move too fast and while some may claim it to be boring, I think it feels just right for the tone and story this film is trying to tell. At times the film can feel at awkward because of the ad-libbed nature of the script and non-actors they filmed with but at the same time it adds to the authenticity of the scenarios.
As for the cast they do well, thought the film revolves around Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able and thankfully they carry the film well. Scoot McNairy plays Andrew Kaulder, a photojournalist who at first is a bit of douche because he’s very selfish, opinionated and is only interested in his own goals, but eventually due to the nature of his journey and relationship with Samantha he changes and becomes a guy you can root for. Whitney Able as Samantha Wynden is also good, I’d say not as likeable as Andrew because she doesn’t say much and frowns a lot, but over the course of the film you start to get attached and root for her and Andrew to survive through the messy and unlucky situation. McNairy and Able have good chemistry and it isn’t surprising considering that they are together in real life.
When it comes to the presentation I think its good, visually the main CGI used is on the aliens and considering it was all done by Edwards on his own I think he should be commended. I also liked the music by Jon Hopkins which has a subtle and yet impactful effect on the film especially in the emotional scenes.
I think the reason this film got a bad rep is because a lot of people mistook it for an actual monster movie, I know the title sort of suggests something along the lines of a monster film but film titles don’t always tell you what the film is about. I never saw any trailers or marketing for the film so I don’t know if it was marketed as a monster movie, but a lot of general audience members misunderstood the kind of film that this was and as a result they slated it saying that it was boring, dull, not what they expected.
In conclusion Monsters is a unique type of premise and while it doesn’t do anything radically different to turn the genre on its head, for an indie sci-fi film it is pretty impressive with the human story, central performances and the special effects. I think it’s a great directorial debut for Gareth Edwards and I hope he blows us away with Godzilla. Also I only found out the other day that this film has a sequel coming out entitled Monsters: Dark Continent, might have to check that one out.
Rating: 7.5 (A very different kind of sci-fi film with a lovely human center)
So have you seen Monsters and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts, drop them in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo. 😀