I was lucky enough to catch this one on TV so long ago. It always stuck with me, yet I never remembered enough about it to find it again. It wasn’t until Batman v Superman when I recognized Scott McNairy as Wallace Keefe that I was just an imdb rabbit hole away from finding this gem. (At least something good came out of that movie, ammiright, people?)
Monsters is one of the few sci-fi/ horror films to take place AFTER the planet changing event and show life on earth in the aftermath. (Think District 9 or 28 Weeks Later). It has the creepy vibe of movies like The Mist and Signs, only it’s actually good. (Ammiright, people?)
After a probe sent to collect samples of extraterrestrial life crash lands between the US and Mexico, an outbreak of “creatures” spreads through a land mass between the two countries. The area is surrounded and labeled the “infected zone” where few would dare set foot. The zone is surrounded by military and filled with citizens refusing to leave their homes behind. Andrew, a photographer looking to document the infection, is tasked with bringing his publication owner’s daughter home from Mexico. After some unfortunate events, Andrew and Sam are unable to pass safely to the US and must cross through the infected zone to get home.
What is really cool about this movie is the realistic view of humanity in a universe where an alien creature has taken over part of their land. The citizens living in a war zone are all too reminiscent of… real citizens living in real war zones. Andrew, as a member of the media, acts for the viewer in questioning why these people would behave as they do and brave what they have. It paints a seemingly realistic picture of a war torn or “infected zone” in reality. Andrew and Sam act as the sheltered Americans who see the real fear on TV and prepare to return to their lives in their suburban homes and real life relationships after braving a real life conflict.
I’ll note, this isn’t the aliens vs humans war movie the trailer makes it appear. It is much more about the human condition. But also we see a lot of aliens which is dope.
Great if you liked: District 9, War of the Worlds, The Mist, Signs, 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later