November 13, 2011

Monsters (2010)

Here is something that was filmed for $500k, a budget that’s under even that for an episode of a show on HBO, but that nevertheless manages to create images that one would find in many other big Hollywood productions. That alone, however, is not enough to make a film compelling to watch, which is why I was very pleased to discover a film that goes well beyond conventional sci-fi. It’s part-post-apocalyptic, near-future fare, part-political commentary (those Aliens and the fence keeping them away from the united states are a pretty obvious comment) and part-relationship-drama. Oh, and I didn’t even mention that it works best as a suspense thriller, since the uncertainty of it all (most often not due to the aliens) serves only to make this even more compelling to watch. There really isn’t much out there to compare this to and the closest relatives I can think of are District 9 and Children of Man (and no, this has nothing to do with Blair Witch or Quarantine/REC, despite the obvious parallels, and in fact comparing it to them would be an insult to this movie). It is at once subdued and burning with immediacy, revealing yet obscure, fast paced yet slow-rhythmed, in short, most definitely a must.