Director : Gareth Edwards
Writer : Gareth Edwards
Starring : Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able UK 1h 34m
While going through a healthy size list of Lofi Scifi movies i found a series of beautiful and haunting movies, mostly dealing with time and space travel, but not many dealing with aliens, than I finally got around to watching Monsters which was an answer for the missing aliens but also maintained the haunting and emotional side of this genre.
A NASA deep space probe crash lands in Mexico, spreading extraterrestrial life form into north Mexico and America, a wall is soon erected to keep the United States safe, and both armies battle to keep the alien life contained in an infected zone. A photojournalist Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) is tasked with the job of collecting and escorting his editors daughter Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able)back to the USA before the infected zone is totally closed off, he finds her in a hospital and the start their journey home, but the train they are on is stopped as the tracks are damaged and the pair then have to hitch hike for the rest of the journey home.
Starting out as just any other film, Monsters come across with a hint of documentary feel to it, it’s clear that there are very few real actors involved, and almost no hint of alien life. The couple who are quite professional at first soon become much closer and their situation becomes more desperate. The train tracks are damaged, they end up bumming rides and are loaned food and water at certain points along the way, there are lots of people in the infected area who just try to live their daily lives as the environment around them is slowly taken over by ET lifeforms, and they are too poor to evacuate. So what about these aliens, unlike District 9 (2009) at first you don’t really see them but you see the effects of them, but when they do appear they are both grand and terrifying and passive and beautiful. In one scene an unknown creature starts to drag a fighter plane down the river, it communicates through light with the photographer’s camera flashes, and in another scene the local show the very exhausted American couple how the creatures are integrated into the trees, and they send pulses of light as they communicate with each other.
Unlike a lot of alien contact films, this isn’t the most advanced, we’ve-come-with-a-plan alien contact, technically these are just flora/fauna that have adapted to our planet and atmosphere (believable?) but there isn’t a mental plan, just a biological advantage.
Personally I found Monsters rich with a golden concept about alien life being brought to this planet, not in spaceships but in the waste of one. It’s an idea that’s flourished in comics for years now and to see it brought to life in such a magical way is outstanding, There are many lavish landscapes that the tourist board would be jealous of, the script is brilliant and while the movie does take a while to get started the tension and action to come is worth the wait. With believable characters and a cunning plot, it really doesn’t have many negative points to this detailed film that while being a feast for the eyes and imagination, also raises questions about immigration, border control and the constrictions we impose on ourselves.
R – Monsters 2 (2014), Alien Nation (1988), District 9 (2009)
L – Selected Lofi SciFi – Lofi Scifi my introduction to the genre
A – My adventures in Lofi Scifi
5S – Scoot McNairy, Gareth Edwards
Vs – Monsters Vs The Mist