Monday, August 2, 2010

Insane Micro-Budget Indie Flick, Monsters

Nope. You aren't in Kansas anymore.
After viewing the trailer of Monsters, directed by Gareth Edwards, I couldn’t help but feel a Cloverfield meets District 9 meets demonic Jurassic Park vibe to it. However, it differs greatly from those film due to one small fact. While Cloverfield cost $25 million to make and District 9 $30 million (both relatively cheap by today’s movie budgets standards), the little indie film reportedly cost as little as $15 thousand. Not $15,000,000, but 15 with only three zeroes after it. Crazy. And even though I’m a sucker for fake documentary horror-type films (REC, District 9 and Blair Witch being a few examples), I’m glad Monsters works off a standard plot line, while also toning down the shaky cam (thank goodness!). 

Courtesy of IGN:

Even though he worked with such a micro-budget, Gareth Edwards looks to pump out a new type of sci-fi horror film. The visuals, from the trailer alone, are stunning. The pseudo post-apocalyptic Mexican landscape has an eerie calm to it, drawing the audience in as they survey the destruction from an unidentified source. The plot is a fairly simple one: aliens appear and half of Mexico is quarantined as an “Infected Zone.” However, two people had the misfortune of being stuck on one side of the Infected Zone and want to get to the other. Oops. That means the two people, a cynical US journalist and a scared-stiff tourist, must trek across the “Infected Zone” to get to the US Border aka safety. Shoot. That’s too bad for them. I can only assume chaos ensues. 
I would assume she's in a predicament.
According to, who had the budget and good fortune to go to Cannes where it was premiered and watch it, Monsters doesn’t utilize big-budget effects (duh, Edwards had less than a fraction of a million dollars...) or mundane horror cliches (okay, this is a plus), but rather, the film actually focuses on character development. Wow. Anything that runs as far away as possible from today’s boom-guts-bang-blood-slash-gore-gore-kill--kill-kill-death horror films is worth watching. It’s definitely refreshing to know that characters are actually allowed to be matured and attached to, other than, “hey, she’s hot, she lives, everyone else- dead.” Also, Edwards “creates a totally believable world where alien creatures have infected a large region of Mexico (SlashFilm).” Taking into account today’s cynical critics, not an easy task to undertake. 

Clip Courtesy of YouTube (sorry if it's a little unstable):

Yet Gareth Edwards manages to pull it off. Perhaps due to his micro-budget, Edwards is able to stay grounded in reality. Reality other than the priorly mentioned boom-pow-wheeeeee-death horror. Unfortunately (and understandably so), the trailer makes Monsters look more like a run-in-the-mill sci-fi horror. Understandably because today’s movie goers want the boom-pow-gore-gore-cool-death horror. Exhibit A: the never-ending Saw franchise, which although glorifying brutal violence, still manages to roll in dough. Sad. However, come it’s release date, October 29th, 2010, Monsters is a film to consider trekking to the theaters to watch. 


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