Director: Michael Matthews
Producers: Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen
Genre: Post-apocalyptic action, Romantic comedy
Release Date: 16th October, 2020
Released In: Theatres
Star Cast: Dylan O'Brien, Michael Rooker, Ariana Greenblatt, Jessica Henwick, Dan Ewing, Donnie Baxter, Ellen Hollman
Seven years after the Monsterpocalypse, Joel Dawson (Dylan O’Brien), along with the rest of humanity, has been living underground ever since giant creatures took control of the land. After reconnecting over radio with his high school girlfriend Aimee (Jessica Henwick), who is now 80 miles away at a coastal colony, Joel begins to fall for her again.
As Joel realizes that there is nothing left for him underground, he decides against all logic to venture out to Aimee, despite the dangerous monsters that stand in his way.
Love and Monsters is a post-apocalyptic adventure-comedy-thriller starring Dylan O'Brien. He plays Joel, the odd man out in a small underground colony that formed after asteroid pieces hit earth seven years before, wiping out 95% of the population and turning cold-blooded creatures into monstrous, human-killing mutants.
Joel embarks on an 80-mile journey by foot, dodging the mutated beasts that have overrun the planet, in order to find Aimee (Jessica Henwick), the girl he had a crush on. Along the way, he learns lessons about facing his fears.
Director Michael Matthews and screenwriters Brian Duffield and Matthew Robinson have made ‘A Quiet Place’ and ‘Zombieland’, and especially the latter has given Joel the persona who often narrates his adventures, listing survival tips in letters to Aimee. There are definitely some similarities to Zombieland here, particularly when Joel encounters Cylde and Minnow.
The plot and the establishment of the story are well-acted and slickly made. The light-hearted tone is often seen working against the structured drama of a world dominated by giants.
The story only finds a solid groove when Joel has a major setback and discovers courage and perseverance can only carry him so far. Though it is moderately likable throughout, only when ‘Love and Monsters’ gets serious about the difficulties of Joel’s situation, it feels genuinely relevant.
Visually, this is considerably more interesting than a lot of similar movies, with the VFX used to enhance the stunning real-life Australian locations. Cinematographer Lachlan Milne is given some great places to work with, and there is a scene with jellyfish-like creatures, which is a true sight to behold.
The entire cast is on top form, and O'Brien is excellent, while Rooker and Greenblatt might be one of the new favourite on-screen duo. The young actress - who was spotted as the young Gamora in Avengers: Infinity War - is brilliant here, and being able to deliver screen presence at such a young age is impressive. All in all, Love and Monsters delivers big laughs, epic action, and terrific performances!