Movie Review: Monsters (2010)

Synopsis: Six years after a crashed probe results in the Mexico/United States border being overrun by giant alien creatures, journalist Andrew Kaulder is in Mexico trying to get a front-page photo of one of the aliens. However, shortly after arriving, he is given a new job, escorting his boss' daughter, Sam, to the coast so she can get back to the United States via a ferry. When their passports are stolen, he must take her through the infected zone instead.

Who's in it? The movie stars Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able, Justin Hall, Paul Archer and Stan Wong.

Review: My wife and I were scrolling through several movies Friday evening and ended up picking this one both because it sounded interesting and because it was one of the only movies that didn't have a runtime in excess of 2 hours. Overall, we didn't hate the film, though it also wasn't quite what we were expecting it to be.

If you watch this movie expecting it to be a thriller (like we did), you'll be disappointed. Instead, I thought it seemed a bit more like a bizarre Hallmark movie than a bona fide monster film because most of the plot seemed to be centered on Andrew (McNairy) and Sam (Able) as they fall in love with each other, with the occasional alien monster showing up somewhere in the background.

Let's put it this way, the movie ultimately results in them having to go through an "infected" zone that is so full of aliens, the military is always on alert and there is an effort to build a giant wall to keep them out. Not to mention thousands of people are being evacuated because of an expected seasonal migration. Yet, when they make that journey, it honestly felt a little bit like they were hiking in a national park, some potential danger from the native wildlife (only this time, it is an alien versus a bear) but not enough where they are in constant fear of their lives.

In fact, I kind of got a little bit of a laugh when Andrew seemed almost flabbergasted their escorts through the infected zone were carrying guns. Well, duh. It is an infected zone.

That being said, the love story itself was surprisingly decent. I liked how it started as an unfulfilled physical attraction and slowly progressed into something more, though the film never really gives a lot of detail about Sam's engagement and why she decided to travel to Mexico in the first place. I am assuming it was to escape her fiancé, but don't know the reasons. That part of the film did make it watchable, even though there were some parts that did seem to drag on a while.

My only real complaint is the ending. I hate it when movies just end without providing any real closure, in this case, it was them being snagged by marines before the end credits. The movie seemed to be hinting at something more going on than originally believed but never really took things any further than that and the ending did leave my wife and me feeling a little cheated.

Final Opinion: The best thing about this movie is the love story. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that was the intention.

My Grade: C


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