Monsters (2010) – Gareth Edwards

It’s time for another close encounter with alien beings in the next title from DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies, this time, the creature’s are earthbound, and despite the titles are they really monsters? Or perhaps it’s the humans who are the monsters?

Six years ago a space probe returning to earth with samples of alien life from within our solar system broke up over Mexico during re-entry, the samples seeded part of the land, creating an infected zone (and allowing the U.S. to finally get that pesky wall built). Everything the American and Mexican governments have done is work to contain the developing (and spreading) biosphere and its inhabitants.

Enter photo journalist Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) who has been trying to get photos of the creatures and their impact on everyday life since the original seeding took place. He is requested to get his boss’ daughter, Sam (Whitney Able), out of the country and back to the States.

Unfortunately it’s not going to be easy, and soon the pair find themselves on a cross-country journey through the infected zone as they make for America.

What follows is a story that sees the two characters growing together, even as they learn to communicate with one another, and understand the other. Something that is reflected on the macro-scale with the way the governments have been dealing with these strange, giant beings – which conjure thoughts of octopuses and whales.

No one seems interested in studying them, learning about them, they just want to contain them, because they seem to be destructive. But perhaps that is because of the circumstances that are being forced upon them?

And if we as a species can’t truly communicate with one another, what makes us think we can understand something else?

The story is more about the journey and the characters as opposed to the creatures, though they do surface throughout the story. I think that is something that threw me about the film originally – it wasn’t what I thought it was. I was expecting an adventure, exploration, perhaps a scare or two, and what the film really does is comment on humanity and the way we interact with one another.

The creature effects are solid, and watching them interact with the world around them, I honestly don’t think they intend violence, they are just creatures trapped in a world that doesn’t understand or seemingly want them. And how many of us have been able to relate to that concept at points in our lives?

It’s an interesting little sojourn, and Edwards delivers a solid enough tale (enough that it inspired a less than note-worthy studio sequel) that looks at the human condition through a science fiction story.

There’s more to come yet in DK Books’ Monsters in the Movies, so pick one up and finds something monstrous to watch tonight!

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