Monsters, released October 29 2010, wasn’t screened in many theaters, and it didn’t stay for long.  Here, we managed to be tormented by the trailer while never having a chance to check it out on the big screen.  Fortunately, it’s now available on DVD and on Netflix (where it’s also part of the “Watch Instantly” lineup, if you like immediate gratification).


The film itself is incredibly interesting.  It was marketed more as an “aliens blow stuff up” kind of film, but that’s not at all what the movie’s like.  “Aliens blow stuff up” generally makes for great background noise while I play online or maybe a nice distraction while I relax with a drink, but Monsters demands all of my attention.





Avoiding spoilers, let me give you a decent idea of the actual premise:




It’s six years after a probe sent to check for extraterrestrial life crashed in northern Mexico.  Soon after the crash, creepy, giant aliens showed up, which meant that the Mexican and United States military had to keep them contained.  They created what is called the “Infected Zone.”  It’s called that for a reason, but I’ll leave that for you to find on your own.  At any rate, it’s six years after all of this happened.  A photojournalist is in Mexico getting pictures of the aftermath of the creatures (hereafter referred to as “land octopi”) strolls through populated areas.  His boss calls him up and says “Hey.  My daughter’s down there in Mexico, and her hotel got attacked.  Get her back up here safely.”  The rest of the film focuses on the woman and the photographer trying to get back to America while avoiding land octopi.


It’s not about chase scenes and things blowing up.


What’s even more interesting about this movie comes up when one looks into the way in which it was created.   Huge chunks of dialog were apparently made up on the fly, so long as they eventually headed in the direction the filmmaker intended.  Apparently, many of the people involved were just individuals who happened to be around at the time who volunteered to be in the film.  Hey, why not, right?  


The land octopi manage to be menacing without actually having a ton of close-ups.  And they glow in the dark.  Land octopi are definitely not to be disturbed; if they start showing up around here, I’m moving off-planet.  A new fear!  Move over, zombie apocalypse.  All the cool kids are preparing for the invasion of the land octopi from space.


Many questions are left unanswered, and I, ever-so-biased, love it when that happens.  Another very interesting factoid:  part of the filming took place in post-hurricane Galveston, Texas.


The point is, the movie was interesting enough that I went out of my way to learn more about it, and many are comparing Gareth Edwards to the man behind District 9, which as I’ve stated before, I absolutely adored.  I want to see something else from Mr. Edwards very soon.  Very, very soon.  Please?