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#108. Monsters - Review

Monsters Poster 2010

Highly regarded for doing a lot with very little, director Gareth Edwards took an economical approach to his latest sci-fi road movie Monsters, creating a fascinating world inhabited by beautifully surreal extra-terrestrials and the humans that must survive them. When American photographer Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) Monsters film 2010is on assignment in Mexico to document the alien life forms that have settled there, he is unwittingly tasked with the unfortunate job of escorting his boss’s daughter back into U.S. territory. When things predictably don’t go as expected, the would-be adventurers must survive the trek through the dangerous “Infected Zone,” a quarantined area of Mexico that has been taken over by both the creatures and American bombing raids. Not nearly as showy as the Peter Jackson produced District 9 (2009), Monsters is a more delicate fare, concerned less with how much destruction they can generate on screen, but instead the very personal effect such destruction has had on its American protagonists. Injected with a pacing that may be too slow for some, Monsters sacrifices frills for substance, something that I welcome amidst the increasingly calculated sci-fi films as of late. Also similar to District 9 was Monsters’s admittedly heavy-handed socio-political context. While subtler than 9’s metaphorical take on South African apartheid, Monsters’ message concerning the ongoing immigration problem had between the U.S. and Mexican borders is simple and on-the-nose. Thankfully Edwards suppresses any extreme urges, keeping the film balanced and leaving any and all conclusions up to the audience. Monsters film 2010

Monsters is a film that deserves to be seen for all its merits, least of which are the filmmakers’ graphical and artistic abilities.  Kaulder and his companion Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able) take a journey of self-exploration that culminates in an arrestingly passionate climax that is as beautiful as it is captivating. For me, it was a much-needed experience.

If you have taken the time to watch Gareth Edwards’ film Monsters then let me know what you thought in the comments section. If you haven’t seen it yet, then I cannot recommend it more highly, and I am happy to tell you all that it is currently streaming on Netflix. Like always, please take the time to click the “share” button below and help get ControllerUnplugged out there.

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