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holy cow! look at all those monsters over there...no really...they're there...honest...

R

Whitney Able, Scoot McNairy

Sam: Doesn’t that kind of bother you…that you need something bad to happen to profit from it?
Kaulder: You mean like a doctor…?

A photographer, Kaulder (McNairy), and a blond girl, Sam (Able), while traveling to the U.S., must travel through a quarantined zone in Mexico that is overrun by alien lifeforms deposited there by a satellite that disintegrated in the earth’s atmosphere.

Ahh, the ol’ bait and switch.  Works every time.

You entice an audience in by calling your movie “Monsters”, then give them a romantic road picture instead.  This seems more like an unfunny remake of It Happened One Night than a monster movie.  In fact, It Happened One Night has only slightly fewer monsters than this movie.  Seriously, if you’re looking for a cavalcade of creatures a la movies like The Mist or even Evolution, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.  The special effects are few and far between.

That’s not to say they aren’t fairly well done, but they aren’t particularly interesting either.

I will say this, though.  It’s a good looking movie.  It’s well filmed, is very colorful, and has a lot of nice scenery and locations.  It’s actually quite watchable too.  But probably only once.  The problem is, nothing much is very memorable.  The characters are flat, as is the dialogue.  They’re not annoying, they’re just…there.  Same with the monsters, though they’re barely even there.

As I said, this is not a monster movie.  It’s a road movie with a bit of a romantic tinge.  Plus, there seems to be some sort of immigration statement present, but I’m not quite clear what it was.  I mean, any movie that features a giant wall built on the U.S./Mexican border designed to keep out aliens has to be making some sort of statement, right?

I like the idea of the movie – to allow for character development and to go for a more realistic approach (not unlike District 9) – but after seeing only about 3 seconds of monster footage in the first hour of the movie, even I was starting to feel a little cheated.  I know they were working with a VERY limited budget, and it’s amazing they made such a nice looking movie with such limited resources, but lack of money doesn’t excuse dull characters and uninspired dialogue.

If you’re going to build a giant wall to keep monsters out…don’t leave huge holes in it.

10 – 3 for flat characters and dialogue – 1 for not enough monsters (!) + .2 for looking really good = 6.2