Hey folks, Valkor here. Though this next film is categorized as "horror", after my screening, I wouldn't call it so. What would I call it? How about a waste of time? I had such huge expectations of the film "Monsters", written and directed by Gareth Edwards, but I was terribly letdown. Do I include it in TOV's 15 films of horror? I could, but it's really not that scary. But I'll make it number three because someone might find something positive with this film. Just you won't find it here.
Monsters revolves around Samantha (Whitney Able) and Kaulder (Scoot Mcnairy), who are stuck south of the border, just before an infected zone and are trying to get back to the US of A. Ok let's rewind a bit. Six years prior, NASA discovered life in outer space and a probe was sent to collect samples. When it returned it crash landed in Mexico, and thus gave rise to new life – giant squid-like creatures. The military is doing all they can to contain the threat, creating a giant wall at the Mexican/US border and performing strikes at night when the creatures are most active.
Kaulder is sent to retrieve Sam, by her father, his boss and bring her back safely. But of course what would a horror film be without some kind of conflict. The day Sam was supposed to take a safe Ferry back to the US, Kaulder loses her passport (well it was stolen by the prostitute he slept with) and now they must do their best to make it through the infected zone as quickly and safely as they possibly can.
If I were to describe this film to friends it would go something like this: Nothing's happening… nothing's happening… nothing's happening… it's night time… nothing's happening… they're on a boat… nothing's happening… oh wait something's in the water… a jet… monster snags the jet… nothing's happening… they meet up with hired guns… they hear a noise… it's a cow… nothing's happening… oh shit their caravan is attacked… but their van is safe… they make it to the border… there's a devastated town… could things be picking up? They hear a noise… it's a crazy old lady… they find shelter in a gas station… oh! There's a monster! He's reaching in to get Sam… no wait… it's hooked on the TV… she turns it off and it goes away… oh another monster appears! Could a battle ensue? Oh wait… their mating… military comes… the end…
Valkor is not happy!
This film had one thing going for it and that's the visuals, which is something I usually don't discuss. But "Monsters" is quite beautiful to look at. Sure it's dark, brooding, but there's just so much to look at. Nothing super bright and cheery, but beautifully dismal – fallen trucks, destroyed tanks, lush green jungles, old shacks and houses, and that view Sam and Kaulder had at the top of the temple of "The Wall"… NICE! I'd watch the film again simply for what's to see.
What, ultimately, is the story about other than Sam and Kaulder trying to get home? Is it a love story wrapped within this escort mission of a film? You know between Sam and Kaulder? Well that becomes quite obvious that they're gonna hook up right from the start. Is it about the plight of the Mexican's and their difficulties at crossing the border? Or is it something else entirely? It feels more like a love story and quite frankly… I don't like it. I wanted more monster, I wanted more suspense, I wanted more chills, and explosions but I didn't get any of that. I waited... patiently I might add, for something BIG to happen and well... nothin. Oh and don't be fooled by the trailer, which makes it more dramatic than the film really is. Trust me, the trailer is way better; the actual film is too long and drawn out.
Monsters isn't a film for everyone, and after reading the mixed reviews elsewhere I can see that it's really a matter of what you take from it – each individual give their own impression of what the film is about. And you'll either like it or lump it. Let me put it this way; anyone expecting a horrifying, action packed, monster movie? Look elsewhere because you won't find it here. As for me, I'm giving Monsters 2 stars, merely for the beautiful backdrops.