Movie Review: ‘Monsters’

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, November 12, 2010 at 12:00 am.

Summary: Half of Mexico is crawling with dangerous aliens and a journalist and his boss’ daughter have to travel back to the States. After several mishaps, their only way back is through the “infected zone.”

Review: Monsters had the potential to be another government-turns-on-you horror classic, but it falls disappointingly short. First-time director Gareth Edwards takes a good stab at an ambitious movie with crawling aliens, characters trying to escape from Mexico, and sexual tension between the 20-somethings. A good try, but too many plot holes, cheap special effects and poor conflict tatter any type of potential. What a waste of a good plot.

Monsters starts off with potential. The scenes of a destroyed Mexico are interesting and viewers always love a post-apocalyptic world. Also, you still maintain the faith through scene after scene of predictable scenarios. But, by the halfway mark you realize nothing is going to happen. These are just characters prancing through a jungle. When you dive into sci-fi horror, you need that classic “Why is this happening?” question answered. Here, it never is, therefore, you easily lose faith in the characters. I could quickly think of 10 other films that handled this storyline 10 times better.

The ending solidifies the film as a lost cause. Next to Catfish, Monsters has probably the most anti-climactic ending of the year.

That said, there is some potential in the actors and the director. The leads, Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able, give respectable performances and would probably be even better with a stronger script. I’m sure they will look back on this film a few years from now and say, “Remember that movie we did called Monsters?” Gareth Edwards, who has experience in television, could probably do better with more money. Even so, Monsters was not as painful as District 9.

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