I can’t say enough great things about MONSTERS. Everything about this movie deserves praise especially when you discover how minuscule the budget was ($800K). Taking a formulaic sci-fi/horror plot, Writer/Director Gareth Edwards elevates the material to the very best of independent filmmaking and delivers a film that is both terrifyingly alien and beautifully human. 

A probe sent into the deep space to search for alien life crash lands over Central America and now six years later a swath of land called the “Infected Zone” is teeming with bizarre creatures. The United States has walled off their southern boarder and those below in South America a left to their own devices as the monsters expand their territory. 

U.S. journalist Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy), on assignment near the Mexican zone, is enlisted to take his boss’ daughter Sam (Whitney Able), safely home. When conventional means of traveling back are lost, they are forced to travel through the zone by any means necessary. 

Their journey is fraught with danger at every turn and even though they are as different as can be, Andrew and Sam discover a common bond between them and reconsider their life choices. 

The main characters and their broken lives are what truly drive the narrative. They each possess qualities that make them unsympathetic at times, but it also makes them far more human. McNairy is particularly good and gives a star making performance. After MONSTERS he would go on to score bigger supporting roles in films like ARGO, KILLING THEM SOFTLY and 12 YEARS A SLAVE. 

Don’t be put off by the generic title. MONSTERS is anything but generic and a MUST SEE MOVIE.

FEBRUARY 2, 2014


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