Monster movies these days have focused more on things like exorcisms, franchise making villains, vampires and zombies. It is rare that we get the chance to see gigantic size monsters walking the earth these days. With the exceptions of the KING KONG remake and CLOVERFIELD, there have been few. Until MONSTERS.
Its six years since a space probe returned to Earth, crashing along the Mexican/American border. Since that time nature has altered due to whatever it was brought back by this probe. Giant creatures that resemble a cross between a spider, a jellyfish and an octopus roam this infected zone, moving about on a seasonal schedule.
Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able) is the daughter of a print tycoon stuck inside the infected zone with only two days to get out. Assigned to protect her and make sure she gets home safely is Andrew Kaulder (ScootMcNairy), a cynical photographer who works for her father. Kaulder would much rather stay and get the chance to shoot pictures of the activity going on, but takes on his responsibility with ease.
The biggest part of the film witnesses the pair traveling or attempting to do so to get to the coast so Samantha can make it home. Getting to the ferry is their first problem and once they arrive they find out that passengers are being gouged $5000 for safe passage. They agree, purchasing a place on the ferry for the next morning. That evening they spend their time wandering around the town, witnessing the festivities in one section and the mourning in another where candles are lit next to pictures of victims.
The next morning they discover their seat is gone and there is no more ferries leaving. A lockdown has been initiated and the chances of leaving are slowly closing. For $10,000 more the two of them can go by way of the infected zone, a dangerous trek to be sure. But they have no money. Samantha parts with her engagement ring (we get the idea that perhaps she’s not truly interested in her upcoming marriage) and they head out.
Their travels take them up river first where they get the chance to witness one of the creatures up close for the first time as it drags down a jet fighter that floated to the surface of the river. Once upstream, the pair is passed off to an armed caravan that plans to take them to the wall built between the two countries as an attempt to prevent the monsters from moving into the states. An attack on the caravan leaves them alone and with no guides to get home.
With only miles separating them from their destination, they continue on. But will they make it to the wall and find a way in? And what lies on the other side now that the monsters have continued to grow in number?
The movie moves at a slow pace, but tells a story along the way. Glimpses of these creatures are witnessed throughout on TV screens and in flashes of light from bombs and missiles exploding in the night. But the good look at these creatures is held up until the end of the film.
The film only features two real actors and both do a great job with these characters. You don’t feel as if they are actors but that they are actually the people they are portraying. The rest of the cast are actual people that were there on location that director Gareth Edwards employed, making their performances seem more real than had an actor been used in their place.
With a title like MONSTERS you would think this film would be non-stop terror. It isn’t. There are moments that are terrifying when one puts themselves into the situations offered. But on the whole these monsters are more interesting than scary. This is no run of the mill monsters film, but it is one that will hold your attention from start to finish.