Title – Little Monsters (2019)
Director – Abe Forsythe (Down Under)
Cast – Lupita Nyong’o, Alexander England, Josh Gad, Kat Stewart, Diesel La Torraca
Plot – Slacker musician and recently single Dave (England) falls head over heels for his nephews kindergarten teacher Miss Caroline (Nyong’o) but any chance he has of making a good impression on her is complicated by a school excursion that is interrupted by a zombie outbreak.
“Are we gonna die Miss Caroline?”
Review by Eddie on 24/02/2020
For the first 30 or so minutes, it appears that Australian zombie comedy Little Monsters is set to be something very special indeed, a local offering with consistent belly laughs, a fun play on familiar story tropes and some great characters but sadly for all the film fails to maintain it’s great early pace, even though this is still an above average slice of Australiana that provides a fun 90 minute diversion.
Directed by Abe Forsythe, who is still most well known locally for cult classic Ned and will be helming the newest addition in the Robocop series in the near future, Monsters solid script and concept was enough to attract Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, international comedian Josh Gad and local identities such as Alexander England and Kat Stewart, as Forsythe takes the zombie comedy into a kid filled direction.
There’s nothing overly unique or surprising about how Monsters plays out it’s blood soaked and comedic grounded tale of England’s no good slacker musician Dave finding himself head over heels for his nephews kindergarten teacher Miss Caroline, played by a charismatic and lovable Nyong’o, but the early set up of what is to come and genuinely hilarious early moments in Dave’s life following a long term relationship breakdown strike a winning formula.
In most aspects, Monsters feels entirely unlike other locally made and produced films that often feel worryingly inadequate in a production and acting sense, as Forsythe and his cast combine to give the film a sense of scale and confidence that will make it easily accessible to audiences from around the world.
Helping this cause greatly is Nyong’o, who is as fun as she’s ever been in a a still growing career and the fact she was willing to come down under and pull out a ukulele for the cause is a huge win for the film as she emerges as the film’s major MVP by a long way, stealing all scenes she’s in and generating strong screen chemistry with England.
The other high profile important to the film Josh Gad doesn’t fair as well as the foul-mouthed kids TV presenter Teddy McGiggle, whose loud-mouthed and over the top antics begins to grate quite quickly as the films singular setting zombie siege procession takes hold of the film, grounding it for a large portion of screen time as the early energy and unpredictability gives way to more generic and mostly so-so happenings that hold Monsters back from the path of glory it was set upon in the early stages.
Final Say –
A fun and above average Australian affair, Little Monsters is a well directed feature that benefits from a great start and the winning work of Lupita Nyong’o but loses stem in what becomes a more mediocre and forgettable zombie tale.
3 Taylor Swift singalongs out of 5