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Monster Review: Monsters ~ Alien Invasion Film That Conquers Nothing

So, let me start by saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover, like you can’t judge a film by its posters, teasers, trailers etc… What I mean by the later is when you see an upcoming flick with a name like, oh well say MONSTERS, accompanied by a poster that reflects a semi-apocalyptic world, you think you’re going to get some monsters. Right?

The premise: Six years ago NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A probe was launched to collect samples, but crashed upon reentry 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” … The story begins when a U.S. journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through the infected zone to the safety of the U.S. border.

Ok now that were all on track let’s get into this thing. Written and directed by Gareth Edwards, Monsters, is more of a soft apocalyptic romance than the thriller it’s advertised to be. I was very captivated by the beautiful cinematography, and how Edwards was able to pepper in signs of destruction so naturally. I figured the story between Andrew (Scoot McNairy) and Sam (Whitney Able) would turn into a romantic one, because people seem to come together in times of survival. But I found it hard to sympathize with two people who had to cross “dangerous” territory to get back to America for no particular reason.

Scoot McNairy in front of alien attack mural

After a half-hour in of character building, the only thing that kept me watching was the hope of some serious “monster” action, since the title seemed to imply I might see some. I can’t even remember the word “monster” even being used in the film. The aliens seem to come in two sizes, big spidery Octopuses, which I thought were Cthulhu Spawns, and the larva that grow on the trees of the Mexican jungle that make up the “Infected Zone”. Through the whole movie we get glimpses of dead tentacles and eerie sounds from the shadowed jungle, but we never get a clear shot of them because they come out at night. Nothing about them seems scary, and they only do violent things when provoked or attacked, leaving us to believe they are a docile species and we’re the ones over reacting.

I don’t want to give away the ending in case there is anyone who wants to check it out for themselves, but I wasn’t impressed at all. For those who have heard, or think this is the next District 9 your sadly mistaken, and it’s a crime to compare Monsters to the likes of it. Im giving this feature a single shining star. Bing

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3 responses

  1. Steve

    You are right, it’s no District 9. Not even close. I rented this movie when it first became available and was seriously disappointed. I thought it had a lot of potential but it truly missed the mark. It seems these days Hollywood puts more thought into the trailers to draw in those big opening weekend ticket sales and could care less how well the movie is put together from start to finish.

    January 15, 2012 at 11:36 pm

  2. It looked beautiful and I also really wanted to like it. It could have been shorter, I think. I think this was made on a shoe string and so for what it’s worth, it does really well and the couple were actually married n real life, so there was a bit of method acting in there! It just wasn’t a real action feature, sadly.

    And hopefully, one day they’ll actually be a decent Cthulhu mythos film. Cloverfield 2 maybe?

    January 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    • Wow didn’t know about the actors true life relationship. Now that I know that, you can see the chemistry in the way they look at each other, and how playful Scoot Mcnairy is with Whitney. The softy in me likes the relationship aspect, though is done too much in my opinion, where two people are brought together through tragedy, or devestation. Thanks for reading!

      January 23, 2012 at 4:53 pm

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