Monsters (2010)

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A photo journalist is grudgingly charged with escorting his employer’s daughter through the “infected zone” of central America which has become home for a race of huge alien creatures.

Although the DVD cover screeches “THRILLING” and “ACTION PACKED”, anyone misguided enough to be hoping for Cloverfield 2 will be mightily disappointed. Monsters is more a road movie that just happens to feature creatures from outer space and reminded me more of a cross between The African Queen and Jurassic Park, with the occasional nod toward Apocalypse Now. The actual content is hardly original but the approach is refreshingly different in that it doesn’t concentrate on the sci-fi aspect of the story, instead focusing on the protagonists and it has quite a nice “screw with nature at your own peril” subtext plus some sly digs at America’s isolationist, xenophobic foreign policy. Most react to the “monsters” with fear and violence with inevitably tragic results and this forms the backdrop to a nice, character-driven journey that has a really nice, low key vibe.

It’s interesting how the proliferation of CGI has meant that indie film now has access to some pretty impressive visual effects and alongside District 9, Monsters is an example of some quality results.

7/10

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