Monsters (2010)

monsters-2010-movie-poster-review
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 8/10

Great looking for the budget

Story has unexplored depth

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Monsters

Studio:  Vertigo Films

Genre(s):  Horror/Drama/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  March 10, 2010 (South by Southwest)/December 3, 2010 (UK)

MPAA Rating:   R

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Grab you’re gas masks!

A NASA probe falls to Earth in Mexico bringing a new lifeform to Earth.  The creatures are slowly spreading over the land and the quarantine is leading to the borders being shut.  Photographer Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) is assigned to get his boss’s daughter Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able) back to the United States before the border shuts for six months.  When they are forced to traveled through the quarantine zone, survival will become their prime objective.

Written and directed by Gareth Edwards, Monsters the movie is a sci-fi-horror, drama that was built on an extremely low budget.  The film received mostly average to positive reviews and made festival tours before getting a limited release.

I saw Monsters soon after it was released and watched it again after Gareth Edwards’ success with Godzilla.  The movie shows why Edwards got Godzilla and how even with a low budget movie, he managed to make it quite impressive.

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So, lots of real estate available…

The main problem with Monsters is the story.  It goes for a very real story where the monsters aren’t hunting the people, and the story is more about the characters stuck in the middle of this land which is being transformed into an alien landscape.  The two characters don’t come off as very likeable in the beginning of the film but do get better by the end.  Whitney Able is not bad as the “little rich girl” but I have a hard time handling Scoot McNairy’s cooler than cool behavior near the beginning of the story…the characters are interesting but the story is so laid back that you keep expecting more to happen.

One of the more interesting aspects of the script was allegedly unintentional.  The movie has the U.S. government building a wall to keep out the “aliens”.  Edwards claims it isn’t a political statement about U.S. political relations (especially with Mexico), but the guy is relatively smart and I can’t imagine this would be an accidental political statement.

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Neat monsters…wish I could see them

What is surprising about Monsters are the visuals.  Granted you don’t get to see a lot of the “monsters” (aka aliens), but what you can see are quite good.  Edwards designed most of the creatures on his own computers which makes it an even greater feat.  Originally the film was going to be a found footage film, but Gareth changed the format when he learned about Cloverfield.

Monsters isn’t a perfect movie but it is a quick and impressive independent film.  I don’t love the movie, but I do have some respect for it since Edwards did a good job making do with what he had.  The movie’s modest success led to a sequel; Monsters:  Dark Continent was released in 2014.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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