MONSTERS Review

To say the least, it is impressive what director Edwards has accomplished on such a small budget. 'Monsters' though actually contains very little action including these creatures. In fact it contains very little action period, but I am certainly not one to complain about that and I certainly am not saying it makes the film worse because it didn't have a ton of action, but I was expecting a little more, especially when the name of your movie is 'Monsters". This is the "smart" monster movie though, and it will be billed that way and viewed by film buffs as an intelligent entry into this genre because of its lack of the cliches and its slower pace. It is quite a simple story, one that evolves over the course of following a man and a woman through the restricted zone where these monsters seem to congregate, in order to get back to the United States. A series of events leaves them with no choice other than to travel this dangerous path and thus along the way we find out more and more about these characters and watch them slowly become more attached if not attracted to one another. The film is strong in this area though, the two leads and virtually only actors in the entire thing do a great job of relaying there characteristics from the opening moments of the film. This is not the film where ships attack and aliens fall out of them and we see huge shots of millions of people screaming and running for their lives and I don't think that is the film Edwards would have made even if he did have the money. This isn't a 'District 9' type film the trailers made it out to be and as interesting and good of an idea as the backdrop of this world is, it really isn't about the monsters. This is a character study of how these events have affected these two people in particular. It is a beautiful looking film when our characters trek through the landscapes during the day, but a majority of the action takes place at night and in the dark where the filmmakers are smart enough to reveal very little of these title characters. The movie wrestles with this at times, deciding whether or not to give into the audience's yearning to see what exactly it is these people are running from. But the absence of monsters for the majority of the script gives them a break and until the final ten minutes or so do we really get to glimpse a monster in its entirety and by that point we can guess where the film will be concluding thanks to the opening credits. It works at a pace that might have you thinking, "When are the attacks going to start?" but the conclusion will leave you mostly satisfied if not a little saddened by the fact you were, for once, able to get to know the characters so well in what you thought was supposed to be an action film.