Title – Love and Monsters (2020)
Director – Michael Matthews (Five Fingers for Marseilles)
Cast – Dylan O’Brien, Michael Rooker, Jessica Henwick, Dan Ewing, Ariana Greenblatt
Plot – In a monster filled world that was born out of a devastating event known as the Monsterpocalypse, timid Joel (O’Brien) sets out on a dangerous journey above ground to find the love of his life Aimee (Henwick). Joined by his new canine sidekick known as Boy, Joel will have to learn what it takes to survive in a world that is hellbent on his demise.
“If you’re lucky enough to survive a few mistakes, you’re gonna do all right out here”
Review by Eddie on 26/04/2021
You would have been hard pressed to find many people early in 2020 saying how much they were looking forward to the sophomore feature from director Michael Matthews Love and Monsters, a mid-budget offering that was filmed in the picturesque surrounds of Australian’s sunshine state Queensland, but in a year that has seen many high-profile offerings depart the release schedule in hope of clearer climates of late 2021, this unassuming and fun offering is easily one of the nicest little surprises of the year film wise.
Starring one time next big thing Dylan O’Brien, who is still working his way back from a potentially life threatening injury he sustained whilst filming the last Maze Runner film, Monsters is a film that is familiar in many ways but inventive enough to keep things fresh and exciting, as O’Brien’s softly spoken Joel sets out to reconnect with the love of his life Aimee in the dangerous surrounds of a threat filled apocalypse where giant snails or flesh hungry frogs await your every move.
Always a naturally charismatic and likable on screen presence, O’Brien is perfectly suited to make us care for Joel with his character and the film itself feeling like a family friendly version of hit zombie comedy Zombieland as Joel’s neurotic tendencies and awkward nature feeling very Jesse Eisenberg like and the film’s voice over filled and colourfully over the top antics not dissimilar to the stylings and energy of the two walking dead filled hits.
It’s hugely impressive what Matthews manages to do with his creative world off what is no doubt a low-end budget for such a production and he and his creative team work some visual wonders into the final product that moulds together some scenic Australian surrounds with some great CGI/practical effects that are on par with much higher budgeted offerings that could learn a thing or too by Monsters innovative creativity.
There’s no doubt that Monsters won’t leave anything of a lasting nature for viewers to remember too much more of once the credits roll and the films supporting cast that includes the always fun to be around Michael Rooker and rising stars Jessica Henwick and Ariana Greenblatt don’t get much to do with limited screen time but that’s not enough to stop this colorful adventure from being a fun and enjoyable ride.
Final Say –
A surprisingly pleasant cinematic treat, Love and Monsters may not appear on paper to be anything special but its creativity, craftsmanship and sense of fun will quickly win you over with hopes this may not be the last time we see Joel, his trusty pooch Boy and fellow offsiders on the big stage.
3 1/2 underground cows out of 5