Viewed – 30 October 2011  Blu-ray

I went into this fairly blind, having heard it was one of the more memorable movies of late 2010 / early 2011, but not knowing much else.  What transpires here is a very heart-felt drama following two people, the one a cynical photo journalist (Scoot McNairy), the other a young female tourist (Whitney Able).  Together they must traverse South America and Mexico, quarantined following an alien invasion six years previous, in order to get back home.

Shot with a fly on the wall documentary style, this is a very realistic take on what it would be like in an infected, alien-infested danger zone.  The wealth of believable characters and settings helped to draw me in, and although I wasn’t sure what kind of movie this was at first, the story of two strangers forming a bond, really affected me.  For such a subject as alien invasion, I was astounded by the maturity and emotion on display.  The story mainly focuses on its two leads, who give very real performances, and I found myself really caring about them.  At times it reminded me of District 9, Cloverfield and even Lost In Translation, which may sound a bizarre combination, but believe me … it works.  The movie is also awash with some gorgeous cinematography that shows off the South American landscapes and history beautifully.

Things took a little while to get going, and I did find my mind wandering initially, and as a movie about alien invasion, it was a surprise just how little alien action there was, apart from near the end, which pretty much makes up for any shortcomings in a stunningly tense sequence.  I will applaud director Gareth Edwards though, for not going down the usual road with this, and offering up something we’ve rarely seen before in the genre, that of a very real human story, that just happens to involve aliens too.

A very nice surprise.

Verdict:  4 /5

4 thoughts on “Monsters

  1. “One of the most memorable movies of late 2010 / early 2011″…really? I’ve never heard of it. You review was intriguing enough to have me look into seeing it, although Horror is my least favorite movie genre. I did however enjoy reading your review!


    • I was quite the opposite. I really enjoyed how natural and real they seemed, like they were real people being filmed for a documentary.

      Thanks for the comment though.


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