Friday, 6 May 2011

Monsters - Review

There's a scene towards the end of Monsters where two of the aliens meet above a gas station and although I'm pretty sure I was supposed to be having a, 'Ohhhh the monsters have feelings too moment,' I pretty much sat on my lovely sofa thinking, 'they're breeding you misty eyed muppets!! NUKE THEM!'

Monsters has had a lot of plaudits.  Original story, filmed on a shoe string, effects all created with off the shelf software by one guy.  And it deserves all of it.  As a 'project' it's brilliantly done.  The story is compelling, even with its Cloverfield leanings and the two leads do a good job of grounding everything in a believable way. However instead of holding onto that the movie tries, in vain, to make the rarely seen monsters something you feel empathy for.

Despite the budget restrictions, it holds up and the, 'Monsters only come out at night,' conceit is a forgivable necessity lending the film a more claustrophobic feel and the at times dodgy effects, a believable edge. 

Sci-Fi purists have creamed themselves raw over Monsters. One of our own, breaking out of the bedroom and making a film for all us geeks.  And at times it hits the spot.  The scenes as our heroes try to escape infected Mexico are full of wonderful scenery peppered with subtle CGI additions.  At times it's almost a lesson on how to add CGI to a movie without making it look full of plastic fakery.  But like all good monster movies it's the monsters themselves that the film hangs on and they're ok.... ish.  Off the shelf software does its job for the long distance stuff but close up?  Well it's all a little bit Abyss but with a few extra limbs.

Am I being over critical?  Maybe.

The trouble with the digital age is that anyone can film in HD.  Earlier tonight I filmed some trees moving ominously in the wind... I'm gonna call it Trees and at the end of my film two trees will meet and mate, threaten to pour their sap onto other trees and then grow more trees.  Two humans will look upon the mating trees and wish they'd never gotten upset about the killing machines the trees have become because they look pretty when they sex it up.

I liked Monsters.  Just not as much as I wanted to.

In other news you will love Trees.
★★★☆☆