Sunday, 1 January 2012

01/01/2012: Monsters [2010]

Monsters is a movie that had every opportunity to go horribly wrong and fall into a large category of mediocre monster movies. Monsters however did everything right making it an amazing film that easily rears it tentacled head above the rest.

The trick to Monsters is to go in knowing what it is. This is not an action packed alien invasion along the lines of Battle L.A. or District 9. The opening scene give you a bad indication that it may infact be that kinda movie, but in fact it goes in another direction. First of all I just saw on IMDB that the movie was only in fact 94 minutes long. I thought it was over 2 hours and at no point was I bored. The first hour could almost be a movie without monsters.

To me the first hour felt like one of those kinda documentary films where a pair of Americans travel through the third world. This third world is simply created by a quarantine zone created due to an alien invasion. Like a good monster movie, Monsters makes no attempt to truly explain the monsters (I still don't understand the gas masks) but that's the way it should be.

However the journey is the heart of this movie, and it is well done, making you think, feel and even shrink in fear. The film scared me the most however as I felt the end approaching, this is where, even though everything had gone right so far, one horrible ending could ruin the film and was highly likely. However the movie gave me an ending I liked and more.

Beyond the story of this movie, the special effects, filming locations and cast where all excellent. The special effects are particularly important in a Monster movie, and with the iffy handycam footage at the opening scene I was again scared. That is dropped right there however and what follows is a lot of hard work put into the setting, signs, fences, destruction fill the world and bring it to life. The CGI creatures are also done perfectly, revealing enough but maintaining the perfect amount of secrecy.

Clearly I can go on and on about this movie, but all I can say is if you're looking for something fantastic but not action packed, even if you don't like monster movies this is an amazing monster movie that breaks free of the genre norms. I find it disappointing the horrible movies such as Skyline, and Cloverfield get such great publicity and release while this one was hidden in a few theatres.


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