Monsters, released in 2010 and available on DVD or streaming on Netflix.
I like the idea of an alien species setting up residences after a NASA shuttle crashes in Mexico. At least that’s the premise of the film. This shuttle had gone to a near-by planet/moon, to bring back some alien life samples; only to crash-land south of the border. Its’ cargo then infected an area of Mexico, Starting at U.S Border and down a large portion of Mexico.
But this has nothing to do with monsters, but more to do with two Americans trying to get back to states. It felt more like a bad version of “Romancing the Stone”, but no stone. Sure a few bad guys (monsters) show up here and there, to make things difficult.
So straight out I’ll jump in and rate it and explain more as the review progresses. I almost felt like giving it 2 out 5, but when it ended I was like no way! A 1 out 5 it is, so I didn't like.
This infection spawns, what seem to be giant aliens? These aliens where rarely seen thought the film. Even though the two main stars are force to travel through the infected zone of Mexico on foot, in attempts to make it back to the states. When you do finally get to see them, they didn’t seem alien at all. But more like giant land walking octopus. Or more like a Squibbon mixed between a Megasuid. That’s right from Discovery channel's show “The Future Is Wild”. I know it’s hard to be original, but this no excuse.
Before I go into what one would consider a rant, I'll start with the good. Visually this movie was shot very clean. The jungles they shot in where very gorgeous, great colors and the sound of the jungles where all well captured. While the two main actors had limited dialog it was well written. As an independent film, it felt well cut and put together. It would have done better without the title “Monsters” and the genre Sci-Fi, Thriller on it.
So why didn’t I like it? As an indie film I have certain expectations. I expect the basics to be there, not all of them but at lest some follow through. A few things like character building, motifs, antagonist and protagonist.
Who were the main characters in this film, the monsters or the guy and girl trying to get home? What happened to the foreshadowing I swear was presented. Also where in the hell did the love interest begin, between our Americans? Better yet I don’t recall any Aztec/Mayan temples so close to U.S. border, also there’s no dang jungle between Texas and the parts they traveled in. It’s all desert. I understand once you get closer to Mexico City you get your lush jungles, but not here people.
Which way did it go, as I ponder the direction of the film? Throughout the film I swear the girl was infected. They gave all kinds of clues and hints. One such scene like on a TV playing in the background had a show talking about creatures that would track a female through urine for miles and miles, when searching for a mate. So why the girl, well she was the only one pissing throughout the film. It’s not just because she went to the bathroom in the open, but only because she made a big deal out of it.
That wasn’t all, also her arm. What was the deal with her right arm? It was covered and wrapped and she said it was hurt, but not broken, which was established 5 minutes into the movie. No other detail was given, but the camera would focus on it quite often and so would the guy. Since infection was so widely used, her arm must have been infected, but it wasn’t. There where few other hints, but I guess that’s wishful thinking, for such a boring film.
The introduction of fungus from Mars (not really from Mars) as the true infection and the source of the alien plague had me lost. Was this fungus growing on her arm? But it wasn’t. The security escorts of two American’s said something along the lines of “leave the aliens alone and they leave you alone”. 5 minutes later with their own known fact, the escorts rushed in guns blazing trying to save a few others, but not surviving…why.
In the end the two manage to make it to the states, only to make-out under aliens, where you finally see the aliens for what they are, also kissing, I might add.
At some level it seems like the direction of film was to mimic “The Abyss”. Making viewers feel pity for the aliens, as the innocent life-form. But portraying the humans as the invaders, better yet the Americans. The Americans seems to be the only one doing air raids, bombing with gases and jeopardizing human health in the process. I sure hope this film was not an attempt to highlight the controversy of the U.S. and its border wall and drug war in Mexico. That would be truly insulting. Well the film had a good start but not great follow through. It’s not that its' slow, it is and it’s not that you’re left think “what it’s over”; it’s the feels like something is missing.