Monsters is a sci-fi adventure film that takes place six years after Earth suffered an alien invasion thanks to a deep space probe crash landing in Mexico. A cynical journalist, Andrew Kaulder, agrees to escort the daughter of his boss, Samantha Wynden, through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border.

Monsters is a British film ‘written’, shot and directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able in the principal roles. The performances put in by these two is vital as they are the only real characters in the film. Monsters takes the two characters on a journey and their relationship grows throughout the hour and a half that the movie lasts and to make their relationship believable and in order to hold the audience’s attention the chemistry needs to be perfect. Fortunately, at the time of filming McNairy and Able were in a relationship (they are now married) and their chemistry really comes across when watching the film. Their back and forth dialogue and blossoming love story is a treat to watch and their performances are second to none, absolutely flawless in every way.

Monsters is gripping from start to finish.

The story that the film tells is a gripping one. Whilst being a sci-fi and the alien invasion being a huge plot point the aliens actually have a very insignificant role in the film. This was largely down to the minuscule budget but I think the lack of focus on the aliens really adds to the suspense and the fear created within the atmosphere of the film. Monsters is very much a character story and the lack of huge special effects really places the emphasis on the actors’ performances which make us, the audience, feel closer to the characters and places us as more intimate to their relationship.

A lot of what makes Monsters as good as it is is in the back story and behind the scenes of the film. As mentioned earlier, the two main actors were and are a couple so their chemistry was real. What’s more, the film was shot on such a small budget that there were only five members of the crew; all the extras in the movie were just people who happened to be at the location at the time as the whole film was shot on location with no permission asked in advance. It was largely ad-libbed and improvised with McNairy and Able being told the main points they had to mention in the scene but nothing else. The drama was filmed with store bought cameras and Edwards added all the special effects later on using software on his laptop.

Monsters is an absolute huge achievement for everyone involved and the hard work gone into making the film really comes across when watching. My attention was help throughout the film, Monsters was a tense, heart pumping film that gets the pulse racing as the drama unravels in a very natural way. We are made to feel as though we are part of that world and there is no higher praise for a director than that.

I think that, without a doubt, Monsters is a must see for fans of drama, romance, adventure and sci-fi. Whatever you like, give it a try.

My Rating: 9/10.

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