2010’s Monsters probably one of the most overlooked films of last year. Produced on a fairly low budget that most have called “do it yourself” film making. You can certainly see the low budgetness of the project at times, but at other times the special effects and shots captured are amazing.
Monsters takes place in modern times, in a world where aliens have begun reproduction upon the Earth. They live in what is known as the “invaded zone”, an area that spans Northern Mexico and the Southern U.S. It is a place where the creatures are attempted to be reigned in by walls, helicopters, and big guns. These are not always successful and the monsters do have migration periods where they venture into the non-invaded zones.
The film takes place in Mexico where an aspiring photographer is forced to bring home his boss’s daughter to America, due to increasing danger during the migration period. After some ridiculous plot points and inciting events that exist solely to advance the plot (such as his wallet and passports getting stolen), both are forced to travel through the invaded zone to reach America.
Thematically, there are many statements made, some subtly, others not so subtly. It deals with things such as the ethics of journalism, immigration, and most notably (and impressively I might add) what happens to the poorest of the poor in disaster situations. There is a moment towards the end of the film where Andrew (Scoot McNairy) tells Samantha (Whitney Able) not to forget everything they’ve seen. They have traveled through the infected zone. A place where, although supposedly evacuated, still contains brave people not wealthy enough to escape. Those who can afford to avoid it do so, but that leaves the poorest of the poor stranded as they deal with these “Monsters” while the rest of the world lives in bliss, forgetting the little communities bordering the zone.
Monsters is at times ridiculous (the final scene is certainly so), but is a wonderful film that shows that money does not necessarily equate with quality and is also a great reminder to not forget those who are oppressed; those who are barely getting by, who, when faced with extreme situations do not have the infrastructure or the stability to handle it. It calls out for us who sit at the top of the world to stay aware of our fellow man. Check it out if you are a fan of sci-fi or independent film.