My Thoughts On… Monsters

Just a reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, please skip down to Why Should I See This Film? which is spoiler-free! (This post definitely contains spoilers, so avoid if you haven’t seen the film!)

Synopsis
Six years after Earth has suffered an alien invasion a cynical journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border. (via IMDb)

What I Liked

  • Monsters is another one of those films that I have been wanting to see forever. Or at least for the last four years since it came out. I listened to all the chatter about it in the months leading up to the its release, and then it came out to rave reviews. I don’t really know why it took my so long, but I finally saw it a couple of months ago when it was on the television in the wake of Godzilla’s cinema release. It was definitely worth the wait, because I loved it!
  • What I loved most about Monsters is that it’s essentially a character piece, with the odd monster popping up. The film is about Andrew and Samantha, two people who are trying to make their way from Mexico, home to the US. The initial invasion of the monsters is long since over, and the film takes place in a world that has, to a certain extent, normalised the existence of these creatures on earth. Monsters is therefore really a film about a romance, which just happens to be set against a slightly unusual backdrop.
  • The dialogue is really natural, it genuinely does feel totally real. It’s really odd that this would be the case in a film that is telling the story of a monster invasion, but it’s true. I am not always a fan of this kind of dialogue; if it feels too improvised, I think it can sound a little contrived, but I think there is a good balance being struck with Monsters.
  • Monsters was famously made on a shoestring budget; director Gareth Edwards seems to have just gone out with his camera, filmed the scenes, and then taken to his laptop to create the monsters. For all we don’t see an awful lot of them, they are there, and they are, of course, brilliantly rendered. I’d honestly rather watch a film like this than most of the huge budget blockbusters that seem to have more money than sense.
  • Although the film received pretty good reviews, all of the complaints that I have read seem to dislike how slow the film is. I’m actually a fan of a slow, quiet film, so I don’t have this complaint. I thought it was paced well, and for a film that is only 94 minutes long, I think the slowness builds to a decent climax.
  • The film is beautifully shot. It just goes to show that you don’t need a huge amount of money to make a film that looks really good.

What I Didn’t Like

  • It’s been a while since I watched the film, but as far as I can remember, there wasn’t much about the film I didn’t like. I’ll definitely be watching it again!

Why Should I See This Film?
I would definitely recommend this film, though it’s important to know what to expect. Although it’s called Monsters, this isn’t your usual monster film. It’s not all about big creatures terrifying huge cities. It’s a road-trip movie, about a pair of characters who are trying to get home, and who encounter various troubles along the way. The special effects were famously created on a shoestring, but the monsters, when they do appear, look just about as good as those created in many blockbusters. If you get a chance and you haven’t seen this already, I’d say give it a go.

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