Movie Review: Monsters

Monsters (2010) [REVIEW] | The Wolfman Cometh

credit: Monsters

It feels sketchy to think that a lot of the locations in this movie were used without permission, but if there were any serious legal troubles making Monster, it hasn’t hit the news in a big way. But the story in this movie is kind of simple since it involves two primary characters that are attempting to get out of Mexico and make their way through what has essentially been deemed a dangerous zone thanks to the emergence of alien life that was brought to earth after latching onto a NASA space probe that was searching for extraterrestrial life. The octopus-like creatures that came to earth appear to be quite violent in the few encounters that are seen throughout the movie, and more than a bit of power as well since bullets don’t appear to have a huge effect on them, and simply being around the creatures prompts the need for gas masks. Apart from that, this movie is a mix of found footage and the type of filming that indicates the rather low budget that it was working with. It did become a success on paper, but in terms of its renown, it’s fair to say that it didn’t end up going that far. 

Monsters (UK 2010) | The Case for Global Film

credit: Monsters

This movie gets by showing the aliens as little as possible. 

Well, maybe it doesn’t necessarily get by since it’s not exactly a movie many people know about. But the idea is that a NASA probe was sent into space to discover if alien life exists, and of course, thanks to the title and the premise, it’s easy to guess that it was. But the problem that exists, as it tends to happen so often, is that the alien life forms that came to earth were anything but friendly, especially when they appeared to be provoked in such an obvious way. Entering the movie, it’s noted that Mexico, the probe’s landing site and, therefore, the aliens, has become a hazardous site that is quarantined to avoid further loss of life. Unfortunately, this means that anyone living in this area, or visiting, is effectively trapped unless they can secure a way out. 

Eventually, the story becomes more about the two main characters. 

There’s nothing terribly wrong with this, but the fact is that the movie is titled Monsters. While the title could very quickly be a play on words or ideas given how the humans react, there’s very little seen of the actual creatures that were the initial focus of this story. Some might say that less is more, and they could be right, but the fact that the aliens are often off in the shadows and show very little of themselves, or are seen as corpses that are still largely obscured by buildings and other structures, feels as though the movie was one big psych out. Plenty of movies have been created and have given the audience an idea of what was going to happen, only to change it up and show as little of the desired monster as possible. 

Monsters' (2010): Hitting Your Audience Over the Head | Express Elevator to  Hell

credit: Monsters

The aliens are finally revealed, but it’s still an imperfect reveal, which is odd. 

When the two main characters finally reach what should be safety, they end up in a deserted town in Texas at an abandoned gas station. Two creatures show up not long after they arrive. After hiding from the aliens, the two individuals notice them apparently bonding and perhaps even mating as their bodies light up strangely, suggesting a type of visible bioelectric current that makes them just barely visible in the darkness. When the aliens depart, the two are picked up by armed forces and taken away in different vehicles. At one point, the creatures are encountered again, and the scene that is shown initially at the beginning of the movie comes to pass as the soldiers engage the aliens in an ill-advised encounter. In terms of how this movie was filmed and how its effect was received, it’s straightforward to say that it was interesting from a particular standpoint, but it was also a weak message to send since it’s likely that a lot of people missed it. 

On the other hand, it does leave an open ending that could be picked up by anyone who’s interested. 

Open-ended movies like this are interesting since they leave many opportunities for someone else to come along and capitalize on. Whether the director would be interested in revisiting the movie or not is hard to say, but there is more of a story there, especially given that the aliens weren’t idle when they came to earth. There’s more that could be done with this idea. 

Every movie has some redeeming quality, no matter how small. 

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