Watch Monsters (2010) | Synopsis and Review

 The extraordinary success of Cloverfield (2008) and District 9 (2009) turned out to be able to set a standard of its own in the film-making process, especially for science fiction films that use extraterrestrial creatures as part of the storytelling. These filmmakers, were able to learn a lot that with 'medium' funds, they were able to maximize storytelling, including by still providing special effects which of course cannot be underestimated. However, of course, with the high quality standards that the two films have 'applied' to, the low-budget science fiction films released after Cloverfield and District 9 inevitably have to accept being compared to the two films.


In 2010, the British director, Gareth Edwards, again proved that limited funds will not hinder the creative process in producing the best quality of a film. With funds that did not reach US $ 500,000, Edwards produced Monsters, a science fiction film that again exposes the attack of alien aliens to Earth, complete with very convincing special effects, and coupled with the acting skills of the cast, making the film as an achievement to be proud of.


The conflict of the story itself begins when the NASA spaceship accidentally crashes in Mexican territory. It wouldn't be too big of a problem actually, if the craft didn't carry samples of extraterrestrial life. The fall of the sample of extraterrestrial life turned out to have a fatal impact by making various creatures that resemble living aliens scattered over the surface of the Earth. This spread has caused parts of the United States-Mexico border area to be quarantined by the government because it has been controlled by these aliens.


The two protagonists are then introduced through Andrew (Scoot McNairy), a photojournalist, who is assigned by his leader to pick up his daughter, Samantha (Whitney Able), from Mexico to return to the United States. At first, the trip went smoothly when Andrew managed to buy Samantha's return ticket to the United States. Unfortunately, at the time of departure, Andrew lost Samantha's passport and ticket, which caused Samantha to be unable to leave. Inevitably, because the border will soon be closed and will likely reopen in the next six months, Andrew and Samantha were forced to choose a land route to return to the United States. Of course, various obstacles stood in their way, especially when the two had to pass through the quarantined area as it was the only land route available to reach the United States.


It must be admitted, with limited funds, Gareth Edwards is able to display special effects that look convincing to depict various alien creatures passing by in attacking Earth. The special effects in displaying these various alien creatures, as well as in showing various action scenes that occur along the storyline, are made with a very luxurious appearance so that no one will believe that Edwards is working on special effects for Monsters through simple technology in his house.


Not only prioritizing the appearance of special effects, Edwards also succeeded in working on a storyline that was quite interesting to follow. Like District 9 or Avatar (2009), Monsters is a science fiction film that provides a large portion of the romance between the characters. Unfortunately, unlike District 9, the romance presented by Edwards in Monsters has to be admittedly less biting, whether it's because Monsters is too focused on the story of Earth's life which is under the rule of aliens or indeed because the romance between Andrew and Samantha goes flat. without any factors that are too special from the romance story.


The chemistry that is created between the two main characters, Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able, also feels very minimal. The two actors are more inclined to bring the characters they play to life rather than trying to make the appearance of their relationship look touching and real. The second character who is not too sympathetic also makes Monsters pass quickly without any meaningful impression of the life story of the two characters. It's a shame when Edwards seems able to bring alien characters to life for real, but fails to 'humanize' the human characters and makes them less likable.


Unlike other science fiction films, Monsters tends to prioritize the drama story of the journey between the two main characters rather than a fictional story about extraterrestrial beings who attack Earth and put it 'almost' as a background story. Unfortunately, from a visual perspective, it is the background of the alien that stands out when compared to the romance of the characters, where the story runs too flat with characters that do not attract sympathy to listen to the story. Those who are able to dive into the flow of the Monsters drama story will most likely enjoy this film well. But overall, Monsters still looks too flat to be considered a film that can offer something different.


Rating: 3.5 / 5

Monsters (Vertigo Films, 2010)


Monsters (2010)


Directed by Gareth Edwards Produced by Allan Niblo, James Richardson Written by Gareth Edwards Starring Whitney Able, Scoot McNairy Music by Jon Hopkins Cinematography Gareth Edwards Studio Vertigo Films Distributed by Vertigo Films Running time 94 minutes Country United Kingdom Language English

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