The crumbled buildings, panzers on guard, and impoverished Mexican citizens living near the danger zone present a foreboding spectacle. Nonstop flyovers occur 24 hours a day. Machine guns do not cause much damage but jet fighters can do the trick. Perhaps Cloverfield is out there. I suspect the aliens from Skyline have assaulted Mexico but have somehow lost their efficacy. Our first contact with the actors comes when a photojournalist, Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy who sounds identical to David Duchovny) is assigned the task of guarding his boss’s daughter Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able). Rather than protecting her properly Andrew disembarks their train and is caught in a race for time. If they do not cross the border in 48 hours their exit passes will be frozen indefinitely. Alien miscegenation seems like a real possibility. Andrew is a numb nuts. He asks the locals to adorn themselves with gas masks for photo ops. Putting a roadblock on his plans for romantic conquest, Wynden is engaged, how charmante.
Together the derring-do tandem tours the destruction across the forbidden zone. There is evidence everywhere of the attackers’ damage. We see shipwrecks, blood spatters, and carcasses. In order to reach certain ominous areas Andrew has to bribe local Mexican officials. Clearly something far more sinister is in store for the dynamic duo. Their interviews of eye witnesses are particularly insightful. This is journalism at its finest. The next time the invaders make an appearance they seem to have transmorphed into the creatures from Stephen King’s The Mist. Facing these dangers together brings Andrew and Wynden close together. They appear to be lovers by the end of the picture.
Monsters is not a mockumentary, nor is it a spoof. It is a serious film that deserves to be taken seriously. There is nothing funny about wriggling elephantine extra-terrestrials that possess poor extra-sensory perception and embody few defensive mechanisms. As a science fiction/fantasy admirer I would not mind if in the future directors invent aliens that look like creatures from another planet. Hybridizing three or four terrestrial animals is not sufficient when it comes to basing an entire movie around space marauders. It would have been nice if Andrew and Wynden had found a way to communicate with the squigglies rather than simply taking hundreds of pictures. Did Andre employ a sun-filtering lens or a polarizing lens? Alas, the world may never know. Monsters is a great movie to watch with a six pack…an empty six pack.
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