Film Review: Monsters

6 12 2010

Hello to you from the cold and the fog. The end of my road looks like the start of The Exorcist when the priest is walking to the house! Thinking about it, I fell off of my bike today in that exact same spot on the way to work… if a little girl projectile vomits on me when I go past there tomorrow, something is definitely up.

Apart from briefing you on my Tarmac gymnastics, I’m going to tell you about the movie I went to see yesterday, Monsters.

Directed by Gareth Edwards who previously worked as a digital artist on films, Monsters is a story about 2 people trying to travel through Northern Mexico. “Lovely” you may think, only problem is that a space probe carrying extra terrestrial samples for NASA broke up in the atmosphere and the whole area has become infested with aliens that look like giant octupus’s (octopi?) – ok squid.

I was listening to Gareth Edwards on a podcast and he summarised the movie as “If Independence Day was 9/11, this movie is Afghanistan”. Monsters is set 6 years after the aliens first arrived and the human race has come to accept it as one of life’s crappy elements – like council tax or petrol being over a pound a litre. Scoot Macneary plays Andrew Kaulder, a photographer working in and around the infected zone taking pictures of the sadness and death that have become an everyday feature of life. Kaulder receives orders to escort the boss’ daughter, Samantha Wynden – played by Whintey Abel, to a ferry which will take her back home,  but he screws it up and their only hope is to travel by land through the infected zone.

When Edwards said that Monsters is more like Afghanistan, I can see where he’s coming from as you don’t really see a Cloverfield style battle with the aliens every 5 minutes. So if you’re expecting a rollercoaster monster movie, you may be disappointed. Monsters is went at a lot slower pace than I thought it would and the movie is more about the pair’s relationship with eachother than the monsters themselves. In fact, I’d kind of say that the movie would work without the aliens!

As a side note, Monsters was filmed for half a million dollars and a lot of the special effects created on Edwards’ laptop which I thought was pretty amazing.

I thought it was a really interesting film although the dialogue between the two characters was a bit too much like pretentious back-packers for my liking “It’s different looking a the USA from the other side of the wall” – Wow. Deep.

It’s a really nice idea and I like the idea of a monster movie being more of an ongoing struggle than a climatic all-or-nothing crisis. However, it moved a bit too slow for my liking and call me a simpleton, but I would have liked more action in the film and less quasi poignant moments with characters trying to be deep . Maybe I’m just shallow but I think you’ll feel the same.





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