So, I finally gave in and decided to rent it from iTunes, as they have it (as of this post) as a pre-theater rental... or something like that. I wanted to catch it in theater, but I sincerely doubt it'll be coming here. So that's why I saw it now. But as it is still in theater, I'm treating it as such.

Monsters is about a photographer named Andrew (Scoot McNairy) who is hired by his boss to find the boss' daughter, Samantha (Whitney Able), in Mexico and help her get back to North America. Why does she need help? Because a large part of Mexico, primarily the large chunk against the U.S. border, is full of aliens that crashed to the area 6 years prior. However, these two people that don't even know each other start growing closer to each other over the next couple days.

First off, the trailer (and title) are very misleading. This is not a horror movie--or even a thriller. It's more of a romance, to be honest. In fact, I could say that it's like if they took 28 Days Later, removed The Infected, and put it on Pandora. You see the monsters maybe 3 times in the movie: the very beginning, the very end, and at least once in between. It's just about Andrew and Samantha's relationship and how they grow to each other over their traveling experience. It's also about who the monsters really are--the aliens, the people, the United States, etc.

There were some inconsistencies that bugged me, though. First, they say that there are multiple types of aliens. They even mention "small ones." But you only ever see one (and their eggs), which are the giant ones. Granted, I know it was a small budget, but still. The other inconsistency that really bothered me was a wacky plot contrivance that contradicts itself. At one point, Andrew is trying to haggle a ticket onto a ferry for Samantha. The guy asks $5000 for a ticket. When Andrew points to all the other people sitting around, the guy tells him that they're waiting to cross the Infected Zone, which is prohibited. He says it's more dangerous, but it's cheaper for those who can't afford the ferry. However, the very next day, Andrew is robbed and they lose everything (including the ticket). So they go back to the guy and discuss crossing by land. Well, the guy tells him that it'll be $10,000 because it's dangerous and they need to hire all sorts of people and do bribes and whatnot. Ignoring the fact he mentioned the previous day how it was cheaper, why would all those other people cross by land for 10k if they can just take a ferry for 5k? After all, the guy basically said a passport really makes no difference. Whatever.

On a different subject, the cinematography was gorgeous. Really, this movie had a great use of the camera, as well as a stunning visual eye. The landscape helped, but there were other shots that were just mesmerizing. Mixing the great visuals with the soundtrack made you feel exactly what you needed to feel at any given time. Good stuff.

I don't have too much to say overall. It's a slow movie, and not what you'd expect. It's not really about the aliens whatsoever. The ending is also done very well, and there's an interesting little twist, too. I had to do a little bit of re-watching after it had finished. So between that and the really good visuals (and pretty good acting, as the whole movie rests on these two), I'd definitely recommend it. It has its flaws (besides what I said already, the first 15-20 minutes doesn't seem to flow very well), but it's worth a viewing.

A Keanu 'Whoa'

(P.S. It's a weak "whoa," but I think--visually alone--it deserves better than a McLovin. So it got bumped up a notch based on cinematography... and possibly the ending.)

1 comment:

  1. My take on why the cost of crossing the Infected Zone doubled? A play on locals taking advantage of tourists. That administrator likely knew that these were the sorts of people who could rustle up $10K, and he made a "take or leave it" play for the cash.

    (And it worked too!)

    I'm with you on overall impression though - this is one oddly mismarketed, but very effective film.

    Good work!


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