Saturday 17 October 2020

Love and Monsters (Movie Review)

If there is one thing Hollywood writers are good at, its thinking up increasingly imaginative ways our world could come to an end. We've had scenarios involving aliens, viral outbreaks, nuclear winters, and just about every other nasty thing under the sun. Well, now we can add giant insects and amphibians to that list, because that is precisely what happens in the new post-apocalyptic adventure film, Love and Monsters.

In the film, humans have been forced to live in underground bunkers after mutated monstrosities rise to the top of the food chain. Dylan O'brien stars as Joel, a young man struggling to adjust to life with his colony. It's been seven years since he got separated from his girlfriend, Aimee (Jessica Henwick), during the extinction level event that started it all. But he hasn't given up hope of reuniting with her one day.

His days aren't made any less unpleasant by the fact that he is the only one in the colony that doesn't have a romantic partner, or the fact that he is considered the runt of the pack, with his tendency to freeze up whenever a monster shows up. But when he reestablishes contact with Aimee through a radio one day, and learns that she is in a colony just 85 miles from his current location, he decides to face his fears and embark on the perilous journey across the surface to get to her.

Love and Monsters is a fun post-apocalyptic action-adventure film with horror-comedy elements. I especially loved the world-building and creature designs, two things I typically keep an eye out for in these types of movies. And this one definitely didn't disappoint in those departments. The cities and towns are overgrown with foliage, with vestiges of the civilizations that once thrived there still visible. None of it felt cheap or unconvincing either, and the creatures themselves were terrifying in a goofy sort of way.

The movie was also lighthearted without losing any of its emotional intensity. Most of that could be attributed to Dylan O'brien, who proves to be a more than capable lead. He is no stranger to post-apocalyptic fare either, having starred in all three Maze Runner films. But he gets to shine in this movie in a way that he wasn't able to in those other movies. There was something very inspiring about his hero's journey, and I found myself rooting for him every step of the way.

Love and Monsters should offer enough to please fans of post-apocalyptic movies. Sure, we've had similar movies that hit the same general beats, with Zombieland and Warm Bodies being the most recent ones that come to mind. But there's just something about this one that makes it another easy recommendation from me.