Thanks to its budget restraints, this is a monster film with hardly any monsters. Instead, at the heart of this film, are two protagonist with genuine depth, set to an exceptional background that serves as a highly interesting analogy of current immigration issues and discourses.
Edwards' calling card led to his more recent high profile gigs. Refreshing monster tale that concentrated more on personal relationships than carnage resulted in a film that had a greater resonance than expected. Leads are both quite good and keeping the monsters in the background was an inspired idea.
Pleasantly surprised by this film. It feels strongly influenced by the work of Central and South American directors with films like Motorcycle Diaries and Y Tu Mama Tabien, only Edwards adds aliens and Americans to the mix. I love the slow character development, letting that final kiss simmer till it's just right. The implausibility of the end alien encounter is outdone by the odd connection of the human characters.
Like Gareth Edwards' Godzilla, this film is not about the namesake and the terrifying things it/they can do. The film is about real people trying to figure out how to live with these terrible things and their existence. The fact that the Monsters are used so sparingly only makes them more effective. Such an accomplished film on such a low budget bodes well for Edwards. Also, I'm a sucker for Scoot McNairy every time.
I watched this movie around a year ago, and it had really been overshadowed in my memory by the much flashier Godzilla. Revisiting it here has made me question everything I have come to think about Edwards Blockbuster Kaiju film. Did he make a more compelling film with Monsters? I believe so, and with more ambiguity towards the wanton destruction on both sides.
Monsters is like the Diet Coke to District 9's Coca Cola Classic. You get the same idea of science fiction fused with a subtext on immigration. I hate to review a movie by comparison, but the similarities are undeniable. However, the major difference is that Monsters, while intriguing in premise, just doesn't deliver to its fullest, exciting potential. The larger-than-life aliens are rather dull as well.
I massively enjoyed this. Earlier on this evening I turned off a film because it was slow and I was bored. And I like slow boring films. I put this on later, expecting maybe only a sliver of action but was riveted the whole time. It also reminded me why I never, ever visit IMDB.com, having read the ridiculous arguments against this movie there.
The fact that Gareth Edwards has been assigned to the new Godzilla movie is testament to how great Monsters really is. Anyone who dislikes this movie probably didn't know the circumstances regarding it's creation, most notably that it was made for less than $800k and that Gareth did most of the work himself. The guy is an inspiration and I can't wait to see his vision for Godzilla in 2014.