Love and Monsters gets an A+ and is worth a watch.
Love and Monsters tells a surprisingly authentic story that sets it apart from your typical monsterpocalypse movie.
It finally happens—the monster apocalypse. You are underground with your colony, struggling to survive and taking each day one at a time. What can you add to the team? Are you a fearless fighter? Maybe you are a great strategist, inventor, or medic, or maybe…you cook and clean for those people. In Michael Matthew’s new movie, Love and Monsters, Joel Dawson, played by Dylan O’Brien, is known for his delicious minestrone, his artistic capabilities, fixing the radio and a tendency to freeze up when faced with a 50-foot, man-eating insect. He has not been on the earth’s surface for seven years, but when he reconnects with his high school sweetheart Aimee, played by Jessica Henwick, on the radio, he eventually finds the courage to make good on his pre-apocalypse promise: “I’ll come find you.” Facing Sand Gobblers, Limb Snappers, Chumblers and Boulder Snails, Joel learns how to overcome his fear and recognizes the power of friendship in this unique adventure story.
Love and Monsters was released on Oct. 16 and has since received a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. In my opinion, the actors in this movie are superb, including the dog. Boy, played by a pup named Hero, is an Australian Kelpie. While the breed is far more playful than aggressive, Hero had no problem acting tough for the cameras. Hero’s co-star, Dylan O’Brien, delivers emotional performances and comic relief effortlessly, building a multifaceted, inspiring character that people can relate to. Michael Rooker is basically just Michael Rooker, but then again, he plays himself very well. Ariana Greenblatt delivers an authentic, expert performance of an 8 year-old apocalypse survivor, especially considering she is only 13 years old - what had you done by that age? Having acted in franchises like Star Wars, Game of Thrones and Marvel, it is no surprise that Jessica Henwick gives a strong performance as well. Additionally, the monster designs and visual effects are impressive. Every monster is clearly a mutated version of things that we could recognize, such as an ant, a centipede and a toad, making the creatures a bit more believable and far more terrifying than your average Godzilla.
What sets Love and Monsters apart is how it challenges clichés of the genre. Most monster apocalypse movies can be summed up easily: The main character faces a bunch of monsters, with lots of screaming and chase scenes, maybe throw in a runaway baby carriage, and by the end, a hero emerges victorious. Love and Monsters strayed from this norm by including dynamic characters and showcasing a realism that most other movies in this genre lack. There are multiple layers to the film that make it simultaneously funny, thrilling and heart wrenching. What really stands out about this movie, though, is that it was true to the characters throughout. For example, even though Joel has clearly become a hero throughout his journey, he still doesn’t consider himself the hero of all heroes and admits openly that he would not have survived without “the generosity of a few strangers and the kindness of a great dog.”
Overall, this cinematic gem has earned an A+ in my book as a fantastic coming of age story. It is a definite must see for your 2020 To Watch list. It is currently streaming for $19.99 to rent on Amazon’s Prime Video or iTunes, and for just five more dollars you can buy it digitally. If you are a fan of great acting, monsters, comedy, romance and adventure, you will love this movie.