Monsters is the most beautiful "monster" movie you will see in theaters this year. It's a character-driven piece with a minuscule budget that has really great performances by the two leads. Cloverfield should've been this good.
Ok...so, Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able) is lost somewhere in Mexico and Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) has the unenviable task of getting her back home to America safely. It's bad enough that one has to promise a girl's father to get her back from Mexico in one piece, but when Mexico is basically a quarantine zone after a NASA probe containing alien lifeform crash lands in vast sections of the country 6 years ago, the unenviable task gets a bit dodgy.
The lovely Whitney Able does a fine job in the role of Samantha. She is basically a young woman at a crossroads in her life when we meet her. Scoot McNairy also excels in his role as the often cynical...sometimes douchey photographer, Andrew. He makes a sort of promise to Samantha's father (the owner of the company he works for) to get her home safe. The film has many similarities to last year's brilliant District 9...however, Monsters is a much more quiet film. It settles into a study of two strangers thrown into a relatively dangerous environment. It's about the strength of a relationship and the consequences on the decisions you make along the path of life.
The "monsters" in this film are not the stars, despite what the moniker might lead you to believe. They're more like co-stars to the overall piece. Although they play more of a supporting role, the tentacle-happy aliens give a menacing tension as if they are always around the next corner. This is fine directing made possible by the relatively unknown Gareth Edwards, who also does phenomenal work lensing the film. The cinematography is gorgeous and the locations are breathtaking. It's a great film to experience in HD.
The special F/X is ok. While the look of the film may seem expensive for a low budget affair....the CGI is sometimes a little off. It doesn't necessarily take you out of the film as it is always anchored by great performances and brilliant pacing.
Monsters is my favorite film this Halloween season and I sincerely hope you find a way to see it at a theater near you this weekend amidst all the Saw 3D's and Paranormal Activity 2's. It's a much more genuine film and leaves you with some food for thought rather than a fast-food in your face delivery like some of the other empty films in theaters now.
I highly recommend Monsters.
9 out of 10.
She got the gasface!
Thanks for reading,