DVD region 2. Vertigo Films.
Edwards’ much acclaimed debut feature is very much the antithesis
of bone-headed alien invasion films like Skyline
and Battle: Los Angeles,
replacing empty-headed action with a quiet, realistic look at
a post-invasion world, where humanity and extra-terrestrials co-exist.
film follows photo-journalist Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) and
rich kid Sam (Whitney Able) as they try to make it back to the
US from Mexico – a journey that involves them crossing a
quarantined infected zone where the aliens are an ever-present
danger. As their journey becomes ever more hazardous, the couple
find themselves falling in love, and also discovering that the
tentacle aliens are not necessarily the mindless killing machines
that the media have suggested.
with a minimal crew, improvised dialogue and a documentary style,
Monsters is a remarkably
authentic film – the two leads, a real life couple, are
entirely believable, as are the non-actors who play the characters
they encounter. The film opens with
a night-vision battle scene as the military battle an alien, sensibly
delivering the goods to the audience right away and so allowing
the ensuing story to develop at its own steady pace. The monsters
are mostly off-screen, or seen in small glimpses in dark shots,
and it’s not until the end that we see them explicitly.
And Edwards not only delivers impressive effects at this stage
, but also manages to – for want of a better word –
‘humanise’ the creatures.
is a thoughtful, intelligent and often hauntingly beautiful film
that is unlike any monster movie you will have seen before. Whether
you take it at face value or read it as an allegory about immigration,
you’ll find plenty of food for thought here. Believe the
DVD is a worthy edition of the film, with almost two hours of
behind-the-scenes and production material that will fascinate
anyone interested in micro-budget, guerrilla filmmaking, an engaging
commentary track from Edwards and his two stars, and the director’s
short film Factory Farmed.
All in all, an essential purchase.
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