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Monsters

Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:40 pm
by Remo D
Well, the ad hype relies too much on the blurb "The greatest giant monster movie EVER" (or words to that effect), but we know better. We know that this is the opposite of something like SKYLINE... this is the "arthouse" monster movie in which the monsters rarely actually appear.

The aliens (giant jellies--derived from actual marine life but consequently resembling the Japanese DOGORA creatures) landed in Mexico six years ago. So the attempted containment process has resulted in a large chunk of the country (right on the Mex/U.S. border) has been designated an "infected zone." A photojournalist working in Mexico finds himself obliged to see that his employer's daughter receives safe passage from Mexico to the U.S. And in the meantime, he hopes to get to know her a bit better. Long story short, he gets drunk and does something stupid, and the two of them find themslves obliged to navigate the Infected Zone to get back to America.

Between this, MACHETE and DISTRICT 9, you don't have to reach very far to see a certain level of social commentary, so we'll leave that discussion for everybody else. MONSTERS is far more successful in focusing on the plight of "just plain folks" caught up in the crisis--there's some very sobering and realistic material concerning the culture of Mexico and how it responds to the goings-on, the two leads are very accessible, and there's at least one well-staged "siege" sequence to look forward to. But as I said earlier, despite their being the title characters, don't look for the "monsters" to steal the show.

So we get good, believable human drama, and the film is sufficiently different from DISTRICT 9 (and, presumably, SKYLINE) to stand on its own... but that doesn't automatically make it a "great" movie. I happen to think (for instance) that something like this deserves a strong conclusion... if you're going to spend the entire movie getting to know two people in particular, you ought to get something more than the abrupt "Okay, but THEN what?" fadeout that MONSTERS offers.

In the end, it's a sincere attempt that makes the most of its low budget, but MONSTERS still falls short of its potential.

Re: Monsters

Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:43 pm
by Chris Slack
I liked this quite a bit but thought that the ending sucked. The less is more approach to showing the monsters worked well in this one. The scenes of the ruined countryside were particularly effective in creating atmosphere and the sound design was quite good.

Re: Monsters

Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:43 pm
by Kimberly
so upset i missed this. it played for a week... but with the holidays and such missed it :/