New out this week is the sci-fi adventure-comedy, Love and Monsters. The movie – directed by Michael Matthews – tells the story of a young man in his early 20s, surviving in a post-apocalyptic world, overrun by mutated creatures.
In the movie, the Earth is in a dire situation; cold-blooded creatures have mutated and taken over the planet, and 95% of the human population has been wiped out. The remaining 5% live in colonies below the ground, surviving on tinned goods and whatever can be salvaged in small, localised hunts.
Amongst the survivors is Joel Dawson, who has been living underground for the past seven years. Joel lost his parents shortly after the mutations took place, and became separated from his girlfriend Aimee, so spends his days preparing food for his colony and manning the radio.
While Joel remains largely safe from the horrors that walk the Earth, living underground is getting to him and he misses Aimee terribly. But finally, after numerous attempts to locate her, he discovers that Aimee is not too far away.
Spurred on by love, Joel sets off on a quest which will take him above ground and hopefully back into the arms of his girlfriend. Only thing is, before he can reconnect with his lost love, he must battle some creepy-looking monsters in the process.
Love and Monsters stars Dylan O’Brien, Jessica Henwick, Michael Rooker, and Dan Ewing. The movie landed on Netflix in the UK yesterday, following a limited theatrical release in the US back in October 2020.
Yes, this is another movie which was destined for a full cinema release worldwide, but those plans went out of the window thanks to COVID-19. However, the cinema’s loss is your gain, as Love and Monsters is a frightfully fun movie, which is sure to delight most audiences.
This is a film loaded with neat touches, a good cast, and some damn good creature designs. In fact, this movie is currently nominated for Best Visual Effects at the forthcoming Academy Awards, and it’s not all that surprising, as the monsters in this picture are very imaginative and very effective.
From a terrifying toad to a crusty ol’ crab, there are plenty of weird and wonderful creatures in this film. Fans of monster movies, especially those who enjoyed the recent blockbuster, Godzilla vs. Kong, will get a real kick out of seeing all of the wildlife that is let loose here.
But this isn’t just a creature feature, nor is it a rock ‘em, sock ‘em man vs bug bonanza – this is a film about a guy in love, who feels that he has lost so much due to a world-changing event, and is looking to regain some semblance of life.
In this respect, there are parts of Love and Monsters which feel oddly reflective of the way we have all been living since the pandemic altered our lives. Sure, we haven’t had to contend with killer cockroaches, but we have all become separated from loved ones, and can understand the yearning for normality.
This yearning, as well as a journey of self-discovery, is at the heart of this picture, and it is these motivations which help to guide and shape the events that unfold. Love and Monsters is very much a small-scale story, which is surrounded by big set pieces, some really good ideas, and a lot of attention to detail.
It is quite clear that director Michael Matthews had a blast making this movie, and so did everyone else involved. Love and Monsters was shot in Australia, which means it also benefits from some luscious landscapes (as well as a cameo from Aussie/Kiwi actor, Bruce Spence), and is a fun film which impresses.
Is it the most original picture you will see in your life? No, not at all. But not every movie needs to boast a jaw-dropping premise. Some movies can just be enjoyable romps, loaded with heart and semi-relatable content.
Love and Monsters is rated a certificate 12, so might be a little too scary for younger audience members, but if you are lucky enough to have your family around you at present, and you are looking for some good monster movie magic this weekend, this is certainly the film to check out.