Invariably when you talk about MONSTERS other films will be mentioned: Cloverfield, Godzilla, The Mist. And you’d be forgiven for making the comparisons too, but what sets this film apart from the usual giant monster fare is that the creatures in this feature aren’t making their initial appearance on the city skyline. They aren’t being revealed to the world for the first time, they’re already well established. Giant monsters are here, they exist, and for the most part, they’re someone else’s problem.
Set six years after a NASA probe crashed, while returning to earth with samples of alien life, Monsters is the story of Andrew (Scoot McNairy), a Photojournalist, who is hired to escort Samantha (Whitney Able), the daughter of his employer, safely through the infected zone: The area of Central America where the NASA probe crashed. Andrew is neither motivated nor interested in acting as Samantha’s guide, but is forced into ensuring her safety by her father. With limited time before all safe passage is cut off, the pair must make their way through the hostile terrain, but their options become limited and soon Andrew and Samantha find themselves alone and in a situation which is becoming increasingly desperate.
In a recent video – posted in response to questions from Reddit readers – the author of The Zombie Survival Manual and World War Z, Max Brooks was asked if he thought that the popularity of zombie stories would somehow have helped to prepare the world for the rise of the undead. His assertion was that there are plenty of other forms of disaster that we humans fail to prepare for, so why should zombies be any different. People’s homes are burnt to the ground, in a known bushfire zone, and they return, rebuild, and act surprised when a few summers later they are once again staring at the charred remnants of their home. In Monsters people aren’t so-much ignoring the threat posed by the giant alien creatures that we now share the planet with, but they are attempting to fence them in and simply get on with life. The problem with this form of defence, be it against giant fictitious monsters or real world horrors, is that it neglects the human cost – outside the fence, there are real people. Suffering.
Written, Directed by Gareth Edwards – and made for less than five hundred thousand dollars – Monsters is a bleak journey through a land ravaged by a large and largely unseen monster. In reality there’s virtually no story in Monsters, sure we follow Samantha and Andrew’s escape from the infected zone, but this movie is largely a tour through an extremely well envisaged idea. Edwards career has, thus far, been dominated by documentary work and this background shows in Monsters. While this movie didn’t make a huge impact at the box-office, it heralds the arrival of a new name to watch out for. If you enjoyed Neill Blomkamp’s 2009 offering District 9, then you should absolutely add Monsters to your Blu-Ray collection. [source]