Unlike most movies in comparison, this one starts where many other invasion movies leave off, with a unique vision to storytelling complemented by improvised dialogue by a cast of unknown but yet very capable actors.
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 forms 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".
This is a story that follows a cynical journalist who agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border and their experiences along the way.
Cast: Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able
Directed and Written by: Gareth Edwards
|Gareth Edwards/Director and Writer of Monsters|
The film had been shot entirely on location and very opportunistically, any extras who appear in the film were just people who happened to be there at the time.
Monsters has more of a documentary feel to it, focusing on Andrew, a journalist, and Samantha who is an American tourist being escorted to the US border, and what they both experience along the way.
Although the opening credits grab your interest from the get go, it slows down to an almost yawn pace at first, but then thankfully at the 35 minute marker starts to kick it up a gear.
Fans of the alien invasion genre might be disappointed at the lack of actual ‘monsters’ that are in this movie, only appearing a handful of times, and the movie rather focusing on the two leads relationship through a dangerous journey.
While I feel this will be a ‘Marmite’ among movie goers, meaning you will either love it or hate it, one thing that is truly commendable is that Gareth Edwards does deliver something different to the big screen. Rather than your normal alien invasion flick, this one is set years after the invasion and people just going about their everyday lives. Also after shooting, which only took three weeks, Edwards had over a 100 hours of unique ad-libbed footage which after eight months was trimmed down to the now runtime of 94 minutes. And if that’s not enough to impress, the 250 plus visual effects in the movie were shot and undertaken by him in his bedroom, meaning a healthy return is surely due on his measly budget of less than $500.000.
|Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able|
While I enjoyed most of the movie, and appreciated the brilliant final scene. It was a one time watch for me. My real appreciation for the movie is for the accomplishment on what Gareth Edwards has managed to deliver in his own unique way even if you might be tempted to compare it between Cloverfield and District 9 at times.
Released in other countries months before, it has finally made a UK release date of December 3rd 2010.
Final Word: If it grabs your interest I would certainly go and see it at the cinema, if your unsure then it’s at least a must watch on DVD rental when it’s released. If your expecting and only wanting massive alien attack scenes and destruction then this isn’t for you.