I was surprised to see Monsters had made the list; I’d heard of the film, but in the wake of District 9 paid it very little mind. Well, I’m glad it made the list and thus forced me to watch it, because this film is the antithesis of what District 9 accomplished. Gareth Edwards’ little docu-drama that could is so much more personal and, at the whole, more intimately developed, and while the effects of the aliens are still there, they take a backseat to the two main characters and what they go through.
Edwards makes great use of color all throughout the film, capturing as much of it as he can and utilizing it to full effect by muting and enhancing them wherever he feels the need to. For a newbie filmmaker, he shows great prowess in constructing shots and angles and using the frame well. I’m usually not a fan of visual effects artists that go on and try to be movie directors, because it usually doesn’t work, but in Edwards case, he shows a sensitivity and care for the story as much as the effects shots, which is rare in movies like this. Both the leads are as natural as can be, and portray the same sensitivity Edwards gives to the story.
Monsters is an effective film, mostly because of what it doesn’t do, but also because of what it does do. It’s sympathetic and cool, rather than being hot and actiony, and the effect lingers even after the credits start rolling. This is a high recommendation from me, as I think a general audience will attach quite well to this one. Of course, there will be people expecting the next smash-bang alien action flick and will walk away from this disappointed, and to them I say: Shame, shame on you sir or madam. This is a beautifully done film that deserves a right minded attentive look-through, in order to be truly effective.
Arbitrary Rating: 8/10