Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Distributed by: Vertigo Films
Written by Nick McCann
After what seemed like an everlasting hiatus, Gareth Edwards is set for a grand return with “The Creator.” The British director saw quite a tall order come his way years back, both rebooting Godzilla for American audiences and putting a firm mark in the “Star Wars” canon. Before those high-profile undertakings, his fame would start with a small trip through monster-infested Mexico.
“Monsters” takes place where most creature movies roll credits. Compared to its more action-packed contemporaries, this film evokes vibes of a post-disaster strike and how the world adopts the new normal after the fact. It works excellently in that documentary road movie style as you are placed firmly in the world and trek through its ravaged landscape. Parallels to immigration and media perceptions of threats even manage to make themselves present without distracting from the core of the story.
Simply looking at the movie speaks for itself. Edwards, both on camera and visual effects duty, instantly develops a style and visual rhythm that’s as endearing as it is impressive. On top of some gorgeous cinematography, CGI is seamlessly blended in and retains solid quality from its home computer origins. It never gets old watching a shot glide off to show remnants of destruction. Jon Hopkins’ score also deserves mention, being equal parts brooding and calming the whole way.
Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able, as the two sole performers of the movie, carry it all with no compromise. Their chemistry grows with every mile trekked, hitting all the right beats to charm you to their characters. Nothing comes off as improv with them, as is the case with many of the featured extras. All the non-actors have a natural presence and get the job done with the time they have. It’s quite impressive for having no written script.
Low on resources and high on imagination, “Monsters” delivers a great vibe for the sci-fi minimalist lover. What’s on-screen is nothing short of wonderful on a technical level. Even with a guerilla production, there is a focused adventure on display that provides the right atmosphere to picture what such a reality would be like. It encourages you to get immersed and place yourself among the new Earth inhabitants.