Monsters (2010)

rt3o5dMonsters, a 2010 British film is a film that the more I learn about the production, the more I like it. Something about people filming without permits makes me happy. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but a character driven horror film was not it. Which is what Monsters largely is. But what I think I enjoyed most about this film was how organic it feels to me. It’s not just with the beautiful locations, the improvised dialogue or the fact they just bribed people who happened to be around while filming to act in it. It’s the mixture of these elements that got me invested in the characters and the danger of their journey.

Six years after a NASA space probe carrying samples of alien life found in our solar system exploded over Northern Mexico, causing monstrous new life forms to appear. Which cause the creation of an Infected Quarantine Zone with both the United States and Mexico struggling to contain the monsters. Photojournalist Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) is on assignment, when he asked by his boss to escort his daughter Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able) back to the United States.  He finds her in a Mexican hospital with a brace on her arm, but mostly fine. They board a train, but are forced off when they learn the tracks are damaged. After which they learn that if they don’t leave country within the next three days, then they will be trapped there for the next six months. Forcing the pair to find a way home anyway they can…

I feel like the main star of Monsters is the journey itself. With Andrew and Samantha being somewhat secondary as both characters are a little bland. It’s not they are in any way unlikable, it’s just their melodrama felt forced and with the film being so organic everywhere else it stands out.

I also liked that the monsters, while an ever-present threat aren’t all over the place. I like a film that shows the goods, but only doing so briefly and lets the threat of the monster be the driving force. Over it just being the monsters, as all monsters all the time grows stale incredibly fast.

Final thoughts, if two people having to transverse a monster ridden country to get back home sounds up your alley. You should see this. Heck, if you wanna see a good horror film with more than a dash of sci-fi then still wouldn’t go wrong. Just don’t go in expecting flashy fights and your pretty much set. Gareth Edwards did a great job and put a lot of work into this film. A lot and the end result really shows it. While not heart racing or spine tingling, Monsters still provides a great viewing experience. 7/10

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One comment

  1. One theme in this movie is that humans are the real monsters. The alien creatures only kill people when they are attacked. For example, at the gas station, they don’t harm Andrew and Sam.

    What I find most captivating about this film is the “small moments” when Andrew and Sam look at each other. There is a beautiful romantic chemistry between them, and it is not surprising: They are married in real life.

    I wrote a short essay (400 words) on Monsters called “The Knight Errant and the Royal Maiden.” If you would like to read it, I am open to any feedback: https://christopherjohnlindsay.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/monsters-2010/

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