Whitney Able, Scoot McNairy / Fiction / English
A hip, compelling road movie/romance ... with massive octopi from space.
Multi-talented Gareth Edwards wrote, shot, directed and created the visual effects for this beautifully made amalgam of monster movie and wrong-side-of-the-tracks love story – think District 9 meets It Happened One Night. Contact with alien life has gone horribly wrong, and large parts of South America are dangerously infested. It falls to rough-edged young photojournalist Andrew to track down and save the rich-kid daughter of his boss, and get her out alive...
#1/ Saturday 19 June, 2010 / 00:34 GMTWho'd have thought it would work? A slow, beautiful road movie with a compelling love story, all punctuated by run-ins with marauding alien invaders... In one word: magical.
#2/ Saturday 19 June, 2010 / 00:45 GMTThis is absolutely AWESOME! I cannot put into words how amazing this film is at just about every single level - this is a MUST SEE!!!!
#3/ Saturday 19 June, 2010 / 22:57 GMTWhat a weird film!! I still haven't made up my mind about it. Much better than I expected. A road-trip sort of romance with some aliens thrown in, pretty slow moving but keeps your attention.
#4/ Sunday 20 June, 2010 / 01:39 GMTThis genre of film is not one that normally appeals to me but I found it inspiring... great casting of the actors who were very believable combined with the raw talent of the writer/director made this film very watchable indeed!
#5/ Sunday 20 June, 2010 / 10:49 GMTAlthough the influences are clear to see (take one measure each of District 9, Cloverfield, Apocalypse Now and The Road), it would be disingenuous to summarise this film as entirely derivative, for somehow it manages to rise above this and create something that is more than the sum of these parts.
At the Q&A afterwards, the Director was keen to re-inforce his minimalistic approach to film-making, and even though he managed to undermine this by abruptly eschewing a question about the financing, the film does look much bigger and more accomplished than essentially (as he told it) a 2-person cast working out of the back of a van. It’s beautifully shot (for example, see the night-time riverboat scene on youtube), and the judicious and sparse use of the creatures works well too – by not over-using them, we are left is a permanent state of ‘lesser suspense’ throughout the run-time.
If there’s a weakness, then it’s in the road-movie-shared-adverse-experience-love-story aspect of the film; there were some obvious plot credibility issues (leaving your passport with a jilted drunkard when you’ve only one chance to catch an early morning ferry?), the appearance of another of those ‘it only ever happens in the movies’ truisms – “if thou shalt be engaged to someone at the start of a film but thy fiancé is not actually present, then by the end of the film they shalt no longer be thy fiancé” – and a lack of obvious chemistry between the two leads (I could see what was in it for him, but not vice-versa, despite the back-story contrivances).
Overall though, the pretext is believably set-up and it’s a seamless, well-made and enjoyable yarn about the pitfalls of overland trekking in a central America that’s been infested by giant land-walking squid. 7/10
#6 / Sunday 27 June, 2010 / 09:21 GMThttp://flickfeast.co.uk/reviews/monsters-2010/
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