Movie Review: “Monsters”

   Monsters in a 2010 British science fiction film, written, shot and directed by Gareth Edwards, other wise known for his recent work with the new Godzilla movie. 

   I remember purchasing this film, it was at a time when I had bought a lot of independent films. I wrote this movie for being cut from the same clothe as Zombie Farm. I thought that it would be nothing more than an exploitation of what has already been done before in the past. Zombie Farm, of course, is an exploitation of zombie films, and this movie, I assumed would exploit extraterrestrials and a wretched environment paralleling a lot other films. And I can tell you right now that Monsters isn’t an exploitation film.

   Monsters is simply a good movie.

   The story begins six years after Earth has suffered an alien invasion when a cynical journalist, played by Scott McNairy, agrees to escort a shaken American tourist, played by Whitney Able. He is escorting her through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border. Meanwhile, the character intermingle and we learn more and more about them. Neither are perfect, each with a lot of flaws that incorporate into a lot of what happens in the movie.

   They are both well portrayed character. Whitney Able conveys an admirable performance with her characters, although, I believe the star of this movie is Scott McNairy.

   I remember while watching this movie that I absolutely hated to love this character. I love the character because of how well portrayed that he is. I hate the character at times because all the mistakes that he makes, and how much of a douche that he can be. At the same time though, I can sense an upside to him. As if to say the reason for how irresponsible or misbehaved he can be, it’s only because the world around him has been set ablaze, and the heat has molded him the way he is.

   I feel like I am overplaying it for you. I don’t want to be one of those that tries to set the stage or stress elements that aren’t there. However, I do believe that the acting is the best factor of this film. They worked around their inefficiencies very well. The budget for this movie was half a million dollars and when you see a movie with a lower budget, normally, you’re going to see something that comes across as … well … cheep.

   They don’t have the brushes to illustrate their picture, so they settle for coloring it with crayon. This movie didn’t feel this way. It felt smarter than that. It put only the minimal amount of focus on the atmosphere and implemented a “less is more” sort of approach. It didn’t give us a whole lot with the scenery and aliens, but the cinematography, and the way that they presented it, did much to make up for it.

   The story itself isn’t anything that really differentiates it from the norm. It isn’t anything that we haven’t already seen. This would the biggest real downside to the film. It doesn’t implement a massive amount of innovate ideas and it leaves many stones unturned with the atmosphere that I would have liked to see. It was the kind-of movie that at the end, you feel like the story took you on an adventure, when it really didn’t.

   Not a whole lot happened in this movie, but what did happen, I enjoyed.

   The movie was ambitious enough to leave a lot of pages unwritten in the character’s story, and the environment to entirety. This makes me feel like they thought they were going to get a sequel. I have no idea at all why they thought that, but I’ll take it.

   In conclusion, the film isn’t too much of a spectacle, but it is a very wisely formulated movie. There is very good acting and a decent story to work with. More importantly, it works extremely well with its budget.

   There are some ruffling about a sequel. I read that Tom Green will be directing, … I just threw up in my mouth a little, but who knows, I haven’t enjoyed many of his movie, but I’ve never seen him take one seriously before either. (Editor’s Note – 10 years later: That isn’t the Tom Green you think it is.) 

   Thanks for reading…

Rating: 2.8 out of 5.0