There are movies that will split audiences down the middle... and MONSTERS will undoubtedly be one of them. Many people will go and see this due to the very clever advertising campaign that has heralded it's arrival. And alot of them will probably feel like that they've been cheated somewhat.
You see, MONSTERS is a film that is technically outstanding and if you know the history of it and how it was made, you will leave the cinema with a sense of wonder and a level of appreciation that you wouldn't otherwise have had. Shot on location ad hoc on one digital camcorder with only 2 actors - the photo journalist Scoot McNairy charged with getting his boss' daughter out of the infected Mexico, Whitney Able - it is a one-man leviathan of first time director Gareth Edwards. Written, shot and CGI'd on his home computer, his MONSTERS is a a beautiful two fingers to the mass-produced fare that normally dominates the multi-plexes. It can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them but what it doesn't do is deliver the goods when it comes to the hopes and desires of modern audiences that crave action, horror and thrills and scares.
Instead what we are presented with is that rare beast - characterisation and development. The real life couple bring a reality to the two individuals that are thrust together under harsh circumstances - the scene of a drunken McNairy trying to romance Able in her hotel doorway is cringingly delightful - with them thrown in amongst people who have never acted before hampering and helping them in their journey in equal measures.
If you're expecting a "CLOVERFIELD" type affair with attacks and huge CGI'd moments, then MONSTERS is not for you... at all. You will leave feeling cheated. However, if you are willing to watch a grounded journey of two people that begin to need each other amongst illegal aliens (real ones, not Mexican ones) then give it a go.
Do pay attention to the beginning moments of the film and bring them to the front of your mind during the final moments of the film and see what connection you form!
UK release date: 03/12/10