Thursday, October 7, 2010
Monsters (2010) Dir. by Gareth Edwards
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.
First of all, Gareth Edwards is a genius! To make a movie of this caliber on $15,000 and edit the whole thing from his laptop computer is not only un-frickin-believable but it is inspirational to independent filmmakers everywhere.
I really want to make sure that people understand that yes there are monsters in this movie, and yes they do look wicked cool, but it is not a monster movie all together. It is a romance/friendship film developed with a monster story background. The film is truly driven by the two main characters played by Whitney Able and Scoot McNairy. Watching their progress through the film really does feel natural and not hurried. I don't want people to go into this film thinking they are going to see Cloverfield, or The Host. It is a slower paced character drama with little action spots sprinkled throughout. When the action does come it is really amazing considering the budget. Vehicles are being thrown, and the bodies and make-up look very realistic. The CG in the film is nearly flawless, and in most of the scenes a difference can hardly be noticed. The lighting in the film feels mostly natural, and I don't think they had a lot of lighting equipment when they were traveling around South and Central America. A really solid story supports the characters and makes their own issues seem normal.
The other thing I really loved about this film was the taking in of Central American culture. The scenery was absolutely beautiful, and most of the locations used actually look the way you see them. There aren't alot of man made set pieces in the film. I was blown away by this film and the amount of strong imagery used. The great acting by the lead characters only added to the film. The only downside I found of the film is, because of its natural lighting, it might be best to see this movie first when it comes out in theaters. The dark theater environment might help process some of the dark images compared to the 27 inch TV in my apartment. I recommend everyone lower their expectation's of action and science fiction before they go see this amazing character driven romantic science fiction film.
Entertainment Value: 9/10 Tree Hugging Shrooms
Cinematic Value: 10/10 Tree Hugging Shrooms