Who doesn’t enjoy a good film about things from outer space? Whether its Independence Day or Aliens, everyone has seen a film about Martians and everyone has their favourite. At PlayEject, we certainly do and could argue amongst ourselves until the cows come home about Signs being better than ET for hours! So when Monsters was released we relished the opportunity to watch and review what was acclaimed as one of the best ‘big monster’ movies in years…

The plot in Monsters is that several years ago scientists discovered evidence of alien lifeforms in outer space but in a retrieval mission, the craft landing back on Earth crashed somewhere in Mexico and contaminated the entire country forcing it to be cut off from the rest of the USA and South America by constructing a huge wall around the border. Crossing from Central America to Northern America is now divided into 2 options – the rich can take a safe route via a ferry for $5,000 per person or the poorer can take their chances going on foot through the Mexican jungle.

The start of Monsters sees the US Army on their way to an unknown mission at night when they are suddenly attacked. From the few glimpes we get of the Monster attacking the Army, it appears to be a huge squid-like creature with tentacles that rip through the armour of tanks and pull buildings apart. From here we are introduced to our main characters – Sam Wynden (Whitney Able), an injured tourist of South America and rich daughter of a magazine owner and Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy), a photographer who works for the father of Sam Wynden. Sam is trying to make it back to the US before the borders are closed and Andrew is made responsible for her safe return by his boss, Sam’s father.

A straightforward journey is not possible as the Monsters are apparently beginning to breach the border and cross into Southern America so getting to a border crossing near the Infected Zone is the only way to go. Against the clock, Sam and Andrew begin their journey by hitching rides and taking buses while meeting victims of Monster attacks and the way life has changed for the locals since the crash landing.Monster film review PlayEject

The best way of summarising Monsters is a cross between District 9 meets War of the Worlds. The amount of Monsters on show is very minimal as the film is mostly geared around the two individuals’ lives and journey back home. In fact its the lack of Monsters in this film that makes for more tense action as they try to tip toe through the dense jungle (filmed in Belize) and stay hidden at night when the creatures tend to come out.

There are some memorable moments in the film – the silhouette of a Monster coming over a hill in a Thunderstorm with the tentacles feelings its way through a Gas Station and another scene that was obviously inspired by the Jurassic Park film where the T-Rex peers in through the car but ignores the people inside as they are not moving.

Still a good film but can’t help but feel its either all been done before and that fans of the genre would be left expecting something more.

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