500 Days Of Film Reviews Monsters Starring Scoot McNairy And Whitney Able
Six years ago, Nasa discovered signs of alien life within our solar system. In attempt to investigate this discovery, the agency sent a probe to collect samples of the lifeforms. The probe crash landed on re-entry over Central America releasing the aliens.
The aliens have now grown, multiplied and half of Mexico has been quarantined and is now a dangerous, infected zone.
Journalist Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) agrees to escort his boss's daughter, Sam Wyden (Whitney Able), on the perilous journey across the infected zone back into the ‘safety’ of US territory.
Is It Any Good?
When you decide to watch a film called ‘Monsters’ you can’t help but have a few preconceived ideas. You think that there will be running, screaming, fighting. Above all, you think that the movie will contain lots of, well, monsters.
Not so this movie. The monsters here are feared and ever present but they mainly reside in the background. Monsters is a film about the growing relationship between its two central characters. Characters who just happen to be travelling through an alien infested zone. You could argue that we don’t actually need to see the monsters at all.
Indeed, it is not always clear who the actual monsters are in the movie. As we follow Andrew and Sam on their road trip, we see the devastation in the infected area. However, we are not sure if the destruction has been at the hands of the monsters or as a result of the military that is trying to destroy them.
I have seen many movies where the aim has been to stop an alien attack. I have seen many movies where the aim has been to get rid of an alien invasion. I don’t think I have seen many movies where the aliens are just there. As if a herd of (admittedly rather dangerous) elephants landed on earth and tried to make a home here.
You don’t get the sense that these creatures have anything other than survival at heart. Humans brought them to earth, after all. They didn’t actually invade. Monsters also explores themes of illegal immigration and raises interesting questions about combat (with particular reference to the Afghanistan war).
And it is not as if you don’t see any monsters in Monsters. They are there and they are pretty impressive.
The making of Monsters almost threatened to overshadow the film itself. There was much discussion surrounding the fact that the film’s visual effects were created on director Gareth Edwards’ home computer and the entire film cost a minuscule $500,000.
I found the monsters quite beautiful actually.