Under the Radar?: “Monsters”

Welcome to “Under the Radar”, another excuse I’ve made to write about movies which are no longer in the theatre! I’m sure you’re all as excited as I am. In this series, I’ll focus on movies which seem to have fallen between the cracks unjustly. Not a big release, not enough buzz… what ever it is, in my opinion, these flicks seem to be flying “Under the Radar”.

Monsters is a 2010 film set in a world in which aliens have begun to propagate on earth. Years after a satellite collecting space samples crashes, alien life flourishes in Mexico. The rest of the world has walled off the greater part of the country, now referring to it as “The Infected Zone”. When an american tourist and a photo journalist need to make it back into America and have no way to go but through the zone, the two enter the isolated area, accompanied by a small military escort. They hope to make it through “The Zone” on the ground.

Chaos ensues.

Fans of monster movies should DEFINITELY see this flick, because I think it takes what begins as a standard genre film and then subverts it, eventually coming to a place that you completely do not expect. I love it when films do that. And this film did it well. People who aren’t that fond should watch anyways, because this is a movie that offers more than your typical “Slowly reveal the monster(s) while we kill off supporting players during action set pieces, resolved by a large-scale action finale where the monster(s) is (are) in full effect” formula.

I found it to be engrossing and original and I definitely need to grab it on blu ray.

A-, I think. Need to see it again, but I’m looking forward to it. Now on Netflix Watch Instantly!! (Where it has 5 solid stars)

13 thoughts on “Under the Radar?: “Monsters”

  1. Oh no, I shall have to be the bad guy again and say that I don’t like this movie! For a monster movie, the monster is not even prominent, and most of the time it’s just a Lord of the Rings story where the two fellows have to travel to the other place, and it’s so boring :(

    • Kind of… but… Well, I dont want to spoil things. But the fact that the monsters are utilized differently here is kind of the point. AND the reason why I’d recommend it.

      You have to admit, it’s not your typical monster movie…

      • And there’s no such thing as “bad guy” although I get what you’re saying, we havent seen eye to eye a couple of times… but hey, that’s what this stuff is about. I’ve been hitting a ton of blogs and I disagree with soooo much of what I read, LOL

  2. Lol… good that I’m not a “bad guy”! :)

    I get that “this is not your typical monster movie”, but I rather watch a good straight-up monster movie that knows what it’s supposed to be, than a draggy boring “not your typical monster movie”.

    One example of a recent monster movie that I like is Predators. It doesn’t have any insane twists and turns or any off-beat story ideas, but it’s a good movie!

  3. I shall check it out on Netflix, thanks to your wild raves! I won a blu-ray of this movie in some online contest. Problem is I don’t have a blu-ray player ;)

  4. I don’t even think this is a case of the film not being a typical monster movie. It’s not really even a monster movie at all. The monsters, for how much they indirectly shape the events of the plot (mostly through the impact they have on the world of the movie), aren’t really players in the narrative; they’re bystanders that happen to wander into the frame once in a while, and the threat of the creatures provides a lot of tension. That’s really it. Sure, we see them a few times, but the real story here is between Samantha and Andrew and their respective journeys through loneliness.

    • Agreed… except you sell the “Monsters” short. Without spoiling anything, lets just say I think the finale takes the theme of loneliness you brought up (which is spot on) and universalizes it. In a powerful way. That doesnt happen without them…

      • It doesn’t happen without them, you’re 100% right, but even so the monsters aren’t the film’s focal point. They’re barely even characters until that climactic (and beautiful) scene.

    • Thanks FD, appreciate the well wishes. I’m going to have to table visiting anyone else’s blogs for awhile, I’m sure you understand.

      I don’t really recall much or any marketing on this at all… But I hate having expectations that are way different from the finished product.

      For me though, I was pretty expectations free on this one, so the fact that it was so DIFFERENT was what I loved. Big fan of this one…

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