Idiot Savant Online

John Lichman's third attempt at a personal blog and online savanting idiotic.


with one comment

The true cast of MONSTER

dir. Gareth Edwards
via iTunes rental
The modern monster hasn’t transitioned well into our Post-Godzilla world. Lumbering beasts are relegated to SyFy Saturday nights and tongue-in-cheek nostalgia nods like Death Kappa. Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield brought back the modern giant monster when it came to kill all yuppies (i.e. Nathan Lee’s incredible “screw you yuppies” review for the Voice.)

But Gareth Edwards’ Monsters is a moody and (important note) low budget ode to the giant nuclear monsters of lore. Edwards has a clear eye for detail and scene, whether it’s the placing of the aliens in Mexico or the drunken conversations at a hotel room door. He clearly can frame his subjects and make us cringe with as little as a bit of unknown sound. Monsters sole problem is the interaction between Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) and his charge Samantha (Whitney Able). They shine in moments (again, the hotel door scene) but they’re constantly overshadowed by the allure of the aliens we don’t get to witness except as corpses and underwater shadows–that is until we do see them.

Overzealous fans (god knows they all are) of the Lovecraftian Elder Gods could make an argument that Monsters is taking their nods to a science-fiction extent. The independent filmmaker should take plenty of notes on Edwards’ production and execution. The easiest defense against naysayers is “well, could YOU do that on a small budget?” Short answer: no. I don’t have to and I remain impressed he did. Monsters is a creepy bit of social satire and more than moody for the production cost–but that doesn’t excuse limp character development for the sake of a glow-in-the-dark-space-creature-orgy.


Written by john lichman

October 20, 2010 at 10:40 am

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. “Monsters” was a case where the “making of” the film was
    more interesting than the film itself (i.e. the fact that is was
    made with a micro-budget and yet it looked like a multimillion
    blockbuster. Not a bad film, but not one that will get repeated
    viewings…at least not for me. My reviews:


    January 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: