Sunday, February 20, 2011

Monsters (2010)

I've been dying to watch Monsters ever since I got hooked up with a free shirt at the New York Comic Con last summer.  What can I say, I'm a sucker for free stuff.   The taglines really intrigued me: "After 6 years, they're no longer aliens, they're residents.  Now it's our turn to adapt."  Well, in my opinion, the tagline has nothing to do with the actual movie, so I'm not sure who came up with that one.  I expected that Americans would be living under alien rule or some shit, but that's not what this movie is about at all.

Monsters is about a journalist, Andrew (Scoot McNairy) and a woman Samantha (Whitney Able), who are sort of stuck in Mexico.  And as it so turns out, Samantha is Andrew's boss's daughter and he gets directed to get her the fuck out of there.  Why, you ask?  Because much of Mexico is inhabited by aliens, and they're going to start completely sealing the borders and ceasing travel throughout Mexico.  Andrew and Sam pay $10,000 to get on the last ferry out of the area, but then arrive the next day to find out that there will be no such ferry.  The only other option is to pay an exorbitant amount to be escorted through the "infected zone" after which they will be responsible for getting themselves over the U.S. border.

The "monsters" in question actually look much like the pod-things from the Tom Cruise version of War of the Worlds.  You honestly don't see too much of them, instead hearing their noises and seeing the impact of their destruction.  Andrew and Samantha's trip through Mexico was realistic and actually quite breathtaking at times.  The movie did a great job of depicting a world that was impacted greatly, but where people unable to leave needed to go about living their lives.  The directors claim that the movie was filmed "opportunistically," and that the actors were given an outline of the script, and encouraged to interact freely with each other, and the extras, who were mostly people just hanging out.  They filmed everything on location but (ssshhh) didn't really seem to get permission for anything.  I haven't really heard of a movie being filmed in this manner, but I think the results were good.

If you like end-of-the-world movies, aliens, or just plain despair, definitely check out Monsters.

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