Posted by: Peter Hall
[In case you haven’t noticed, things are slack at HND these days, so since I realize not everyone follows the other sites I write for, I am now committing myself to cross linking all my genre coverage at Cinematical, Horror Squad and Sci-Fi Squad here. Operation: Climb Back Up Google Rankings begins with SXSW 2010 films.]
Written and Directed by Gareth Edwards, 2010
Over the last few years the creature feature has undergone a bit of a micro-scale renaissance as filmmakers around the world have broken the mold of the classic monster movie. Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield combined city-wide destruction with the new boom of single-camera, single-POV style filmmaking. Hitoshi Matsumoto’s Big Man Japan was a wry love letter to Japan’s fading fascination with its own Kaiju traditions. Joon-ho Bong put an energetic, fascinating South Korean flavor all over the science-run-amok niche with The Host. And with District 9Neill Blomkamp proved that you can make a blockbuster spectacle without Hollywood’s bloated budgets and fascination with A-list actors.
Now indie filmmaker Gareth Edwards has arrived on the scene with Monsters, yet another fresh, unique take on the creature feature. However, unlike all of the aforementioned films, Edwards’ goal was not to make a giant monster movie, it was to make a small scale, intimate, on-the-road movie that happens to have giant monsters in it from time to time. It takes place in an alternate reality where a NASA space probe has crashed to Earth, releasing in the process the eggs of an alien race that soon spread across Central America. As a result, half of the United States is turned into a massive quarantine zone bordered by an enormous wall and military presence.
Six years after the world has become accustomed to the contaminated zone, Andrew (Scoot McNairy), a photographer in Mexico, is asked to escort his bosses’ daughter, Samantha (Whitney Able), back to America. When an arrangement with a ferry back to America falls through, the unlikely pair are forced to hire a guarded escort to bring them through the contaminated zone over land. And so begins a most unique spin on what giant monster movies need to be.