Review: Monsters

28 Nov 10

Back to Basics SF - Real Story, Few explosions

Many people concentrate on the low cost of this movie (Around $700 000 US ) or the similarity in style to DISTRICT 9. Many people look at the main story and call it predictable. Many people make much of the Political commentary within the story.
As with most things, many people miss the total sum of this film - A story that might well have been written at the same time as the classic "Who Goes There?" the tale better known to movie goers as John Carpenter's THE THING; A simple tale of people faced with a serious problem and solving it by thinking rather than huge amounts of firepower, and trying to live an ordinary life in extraordinary circumstances. In fact, we concentrate on people like ourselves - A reporter and the backpacker daughter of the owner of his newspaper and TV network - trying to get home through a virtual war zone of governmental over reaction and poorly considered response to a change in the natural order, again recalling classic SF novels of the British writers like Ballard and Wyndham.
In some ways, this probably makes some viewers feel bored - no huge battles with the aliens for our heroes, though they observe the action that does occur at a distance or on TV or even by rumour and story - though the presence of the creatures on their journey is constant and eerily threatening . . . But subtle at all times, as is that political commentary, which applies to all humanity rather than solely he bordering countries where the action takes place. Moreover, the creatures are introduced slowly giving us a picture of an incomplete understanding of a real life cycle that is now part of our world, culminating in a scene of otherworldly beauty that may be the most bizarre and perfect love scene in the cinema this year.
It is a flawed work in some ways - Pacing and the improvised lines and shots are odd at times, there are some odd points in factual matters for the nitpickers, and in some ways it looks far less polished than even the first YouTube draft of DISTRICT 9. But when it works as it does in many scenes, it is jaw-dropping.