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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Monsters (2010)

Extreme dissapointment is what I felt when Monsters ended.One of the most unfortunately anti-climactic endings I have ever had to witness. This is just one big tease of a film. The premise is very interesting, full of tension and suspense. I have always been a bit of a sucker for sci-fi apocalyptic films, and I probably always will be. It's highly doubtful that I'm the only person who finds a film that just keeps you waiting for something major and shocking to happen, only to find out that there is barely anything of the sort. Most audiences going to see films like this are expecting loud explosions, tons of violence, and a outrageous amount of "monsters" (at least a handful is needed). So it doesn't suprise me at all that Monsters earned barely 3.5 million dollars worldwide. Using subtlety to power an emotional relationship in hard times, but not utilizing its setting or tension well. Monsters gets an A+ for how interesting it is, but relationship studies and sci-fi dramas do not mix well.

Acting is not a problem for this film, both Scott McNairy and Whitney Able do good jobs as the two leads. However two good performances don't do a film that much good unless the performances are mesmerizing (which they sure aren't) and the characters are iconic (Hell no). Scott Mcnairy plays Andrew Kaulder, a photographer who is accompanying his bosses' daughter Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able) back to the U.S., when Samantha misses her boat both her and Andrew must travel through a quarantined zone to get her home.  Struggling to survive in the apocalyptic world makes their relationship fascinating to watch. McNairy and Able's chemistry is very nice and will appeal to young couples, but when the leads aren't sharing passionate talks or cuddling even easily amused teenagers  with not be able to keep interest.

Newcomer Gareth Edwards make his feature fill directing debut in Monsters which is a sci-fi, travel drama. Edwards' directing skills show promise, starting a career with an apocalypse film is always a way to get your name out there. However it is also Edwards that wrote the script for the film, but I highly doubt his mediocre script writing will do him much harm in the long run. What Edwards attempts in Monsters is to create a newer look for the apocalyptic genre, I guess that isn't saying anything because it's safe to say just about every film maker is trying to create a new look for just about every genre they choose to work with. Something I should add is that Edwards shows real promise with how risky and intriging his story of love and survival in a barren world is. In order to combine both alien invasions with love is to have to leave out major aspects of one, and that is something that just will not work out. Edwards also did the cinematography and how he creates a chilling atmosphere is impressive, he just didn't seem to use it to full effect, For alien invasions you need violence and creepiness, but for survival romance you need chemistry and emotion. Better luck on your next film Mr. Edwards, with Monsters you bit off quite a bit more than you could chew.

An arguement that most fans of Monsters with throw out to the critics is the alien invasion/apocalyptic genre needed a film that wasn't just about cheap violence and endless cliches. In a way that is true, but Monsters takes that idea and doesn't do too much with it. For a genre to truly adapt it needs time and will take various attempts. I guess this is just one of those various attempts, and I wholeheartedly hope that this film will inspire other films to try something new. Although it's not right to give a film to much praise for potential, Monsters sure does have plenty of that and for progress to be made to there always needs to be potential. Director Gareth Edwards and his two leads Scott McFairy and Whitney Able all will have nice futures, and when they all look back on their career Monsters will bring back mixed memories with dissapointment, but plenty of potential.


  1. ~Well written review Adam:) ~I dont know....I may just pass on this~