Last year I said that we were living in a golden age of indie scifi movies. That age continues on with Gareth Edwards’ excellent, mega-low budget, super high-imagination film Monsters. Set six years after huge, Lovecraftian aliens have taken over Mexico, the movie follows two people who must try to get from South America to the US after all the official crossings have been closed (it’s mating season for the monsters, and they’re on the move and more dangerous than usual). Edwards’ film cost next to nothing – probably about 20 or 30 thousand dollars, and was shot with a minimal crew and has excellent FX that were created at home. But the core of the movie is the relationship between the two leads, who slowly come to fall in love as they trek through the jungle, avoiding humongous beasties.
I don’t know that Monsters is for everybody, but for real scifi fans it’s a treat. The film has been compared to District 9 a lot, but the main point of that comparison to me is the world building – Edwards has crafted a complete feeling post-alien world, one that is impacted in ways big and small. That’s something achievable on a budget, and it gives his film a massive scope even when it has very little. An indie movie that just so happens to feature 60 foot tall tentacle beasts, Monsters comes out this fall. Don’t miss it.