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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

[7.00/10] Monsters (2010)

Monsters (2010)

Premiered on this year's Cannes Film Festival, and hitting US theaters on October 29, Gareth Edwards' "Monsters" is a remarkable achievement, considering the fact the film had a shockingly small budget of just $15000. The result is beyond fantastic, as "Monsters" looks and feels 500 times more expensive than it actually is, thanks to the incredibly gifted UK film-maker, Gareth Edwards, who not only shoots with great style and uses many magical tricks as director, writer, cinematographer and special effects designer, but also handles the storyline beautifully. "Monsters" takes place six years after NASA finds evidence 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 form 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 US journalist agrees to escort a shaken tourist through the infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border. Do not let the title mislead you, into thinking this is a sci-fi film, since it's more like a romance/road movie, rather than pure monster flick. "Monster" lacks thrills and scares, but its subtle story, flawless pacing and slick visuals are the areas in which the movie succeeds. So, if you're expecting the aliens to take center stage, you might be disappointed. Actually, the monsters themselves rarely appear on screen, but when they do it's effective. However, I was particularly disappointed with the design of the aliens - although the CGI effects are passable, the monsters look like giant squids, which I didn't find very original to be honest. Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able give very credible performances and the character interaction is very believable, as they share good on-screen chemistry. Technically, "Monsters" is rather impressive, considering its tiny budget - the film offers gorgeous scenery, some great camera shots and superbly atmospheric art direction. All in all, despite, there are moments the film drags on a bit too much, and the ending is somewhat unsatisfying, "Monsters" is beautifully-crafted character-driven sci-fi romance, which deserves all the acclaim it's getting. A real indie gem!


Jaccstev said...

Wow.. you've watched this film pal? I'm curious how you compare this one to District 9 since so many voices around alleged Monsters as this year's District 9.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Yep, Jaccsy, I have. It leaked online ;) Shhhht...
Actually, it has absolutely nothing to do with "District 9", which I liked a lot, but didn't LOVE as much as most people did.

"Monsters" is all about the characters and their interactions. In fact, you barely see any aliens/monsters in the film. Almost zero action. Complete lack of scares and thrills. Yet, still an excellent movie! I couldn't believe it was made with only $15 000!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds impressive to me! I'll either catch it on the 29th or a couple days early on Direct TV. This movie has intrigued me for months.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

For what it was, it was definitely very impressive, Alex.

I know how excited you are about this movie and I can't wait to read your review. ;)