Monsters ¬ DVD

Six years ago NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A probe was launched to collect samples, but crashed upon re-entry over Central America.

Soon after, new life forms began to appear and grow. In an effort to stem the destruction that resulted, half of Mexico was quarantined as an INFECTED ZONE.

Today, the American and Mexican military still struggle to contain the massive creatures… Our story begins when a jaded US journalist begrudgingly agrees to find his bosses daughter, a shaken American tourist (Able) and escort her through the infected zone to the safety of the US border.

The breakout hit of this years SXSW, Gareth Edwards’ groundbreaking new film is as much a poignant contemporary romance as it is an epic science fiction adventure.

Shot with just a five person crew and a cast of two, Gareth Edwards’ team traveled through Guatemala, Belize and Mexico, finding and utilizing their locations and supporting actors as they went.

The result is a film as cutting edge as it is classically composed, as emotionally satisfying as it is visually stunning, and the bold announcement of a major new talent.

“Monsters” is a brilliant film and is something you will never expect coming from a movie that advertises itself as a horror monster movie. The film is about acceptance, love, unity, and peace.

The movie begins with the military in the U.S riding in a humvee shooting at the one of the monsters in the film, which is near a building. The monster resembles a giant-size octopus, and reminds you of the aliens from “War of the Worlds”–that is, the way they move, not the way they act–for they tiptoe and slide around with their tentacles; the top, or head of the body, has an oval or round shape to it.

As the military piles ammunition into the alien, the film cuts to one of the two main characters in the film, Andrew Kaulder (Scoot Mcnairy), a photographer that works for a publication in the U.S. He has been waiting to take pictures in Mexico of the monsters for three years.

Six years earlier, a probe was sent to gather extraterrestrial life forms in space, but on its way back, the probe broke up on re-entry and the life forms scattered throughout Mexico.

He gets word that his boss’s daughter is in one of the hotels that was flattened by the military, the monsters, or both. He checks the local hospital and finds that she is okay. He then runs to the phone booth to contact one of his co-workers to notify that she is fine.

However, his co-worker demands that he take his boss’s daughter across the border to her father’s house, where it is safe; he tells Kaulder if he can get it done quickly, he can make it back in the evening–which never happens. Koulder agrees, and they both board a train that will take them to the border.

On their way, Koulder photographs army planes flying in the air, pieces of burnt planes on the ground, and in trees (there is even a boat in a tree)—as well as destroyed tanks. In other words, there are military war machines scattered everywhere. Some are still smoldering–one guy is even pulling a military aircraft engine with a horse and buggy.

The buildings all around the area are burnt up and destroyed, caused by the military’s brute force to eradicate the monsters. Some of the octopus-like monsters are half-charred, with tentacles jutting out from the buildings–the military did get a few of them.

Andrew and Samantha are told that the train has to turn around because the military is doing a bomb run through the infected zones, for the monsters have infected certain areas. Nevertheless, they have to go through the infected zone to get to the U.S. border. Consequently, they spend a night at a local’s house until they make the ferry in the morning.

There is an interesting scene in the house, showing the mother’s child watching TV, as she follows direction of a cartoon character on how to put a gas mask on correctly. You see the child trying to follow along.

As we follow these two characters through their trip to the border, they will hit a few snags, but it gives us time to learn and see many things along the way.

For one, we will get to know Samantha and Kaulder, and they will get to know themselves and each other better on their way to the border. She has a fiancée, but you can tell that she is not serious about the relationship.

Both actors do a terrific job, and we feel for these characters, and truly care about them. They are the focus of the film, rather than the monsters. The real monsters are the military, and the policies the governments enacted towards foreigners; in this case, the aliens.

We learn earlier in the film that the monsters (aliens) are contained to one section of Mexico, and that the U.S is safe, having been isolated and contained by the border fence that separates U.S and Mexico, and that there is only one infected area.

However, the infection caused by the monsters is propaganda created by the Mexican or U.S government, or both, to unwittingly scare the people into wanting to hate and destroy these monsters. We realize that these monsters do not want to harm anyone, but live peacefully. They are only defending themselves when they are attacked.

The film’s creatures are a metaphor of the couple that falls in love in the film, the violence of the border war between the U.S and Mexico, and the violence our country uses to protect our borders from foreigners.

The film shows, eloquently, how these monsters are us, and we them, and how both species just want peace.

The monsters are persecuted by the government because they are foreigners—in this case, aliens from outer space—and dispense racist propaganda to condition the people into thinking these foreigners are dangerous by telling the populace they are infected.

I’d say this film is definitely worth a look!

Comments are closed.