Director Gareth Edwards, a CGI artist by trade, has created a dystopian landscape that's so naturalistic, it's uncanny.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
Edwards is a wizard with his laptop's effects program. The squiddy things he conjures up look like the real deal - thoroughly creepy and a gazillion feet tall. Too bad his screenwriting software didn't have an equivalently impressive plot-twisting algorithm to get him to the final fade.
Monsters works not because of its representation of alien creatures or its somewhat derivative back story but because of the atypical manner in which it approaches the character-based narrative.
Monsters effortlessly compels. The ending may be pure sci-fi schmaltz, but it's schmaltz that this viewer, at least, could believe in.
What brings Monsters down from its extremely low perch is a conspicuous lack of monstrosity.
There's so much right with Gareth Edwards's low-budget alien invasion tale that you almost want to brush aside everything that's not up to snuff.
Although the tentative performances of his two human leads proves less satisfying, and the story's not-so-underlying sociological context can be hard to miss -- it takes place along the U.S.-Mexico border -- the overall picture still impresses.
Wait a second, is this a horror movie or an episode of The Hills?
Gareth Edwards' low-budget science-fiction film Monsters is both a testament to what the latest technologies allow filmmakers to do, and-on the downside-a testament to the enduring importance of a good script.
An attempt to counter noisy, hyper effects-laden alien invasion flicks with something teasing, indie and good for you. Instead, it's like a pendulum swing too far in the other direction.