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Love and Monsters: A Likable Monster Movie That’s Worth a Watch

December 11, 2020

 Love and Monsters is a welcome breath-of-fresh-air that focuses on the aftermath of a monster apocalypse caused when debris from an asteroid turns cold-blooded animals into giant people-eating monsters. Originally devised in 2012, this long-planned $30 million budgeted film must’ve benefitted from all the delays as the script by Brain Duffield and Matthew Robinson hits on all cylinders and glides by with a likable and original ease. Director Michael Matthews does an excellent job of combining a legitimately dangerous world with a charming tone that never gets old, and he stretches the $30 million budget expertly (it looks like a $50 million movie)

The story is wonderfully simple, as likeable twentysomething Joel Dawson (Dylan O’Brien of the Maze Runner trilogy and Teen Wolf) leaves the safety of his underground bunker to travel 80 perilous miles so he can find his girlfriend Aimee (Jessica Henwick), whom he hasn’t seen in seven years. His bunker buddies are sad to see him leave, and are worried for him because he freezes when conflict arises, and is the only one who knows how to fix their radio. Armed with a crossbow, a radio and some canned goods, Joel is quickly attacked by a large frog, and saved by a dog named “Boy” who joins him on his quest. 

He luckily joins up with Clyde (Michael Rooker) and Minnow (Arianna Greenblatt), who save him from a deadly sand-gobbler hole, and teach him how to survive above ground, and get him prepared to battle a plethora of neat monsters (Clyde also gives him a grenade). It wouldn’t be cool to spoil the rest of the film, just know you’ll see giant crabs, beach brawls and Joel doing his best Tom Cruise impersonation. 

What makes Love and Monsters so likable are the performances from O’Brien, Henwick, Rooker and Greenblatt, and the original monsters, who all come across as dangerous AND likable (except from the giant ant, who is nightmare fuel). Joel’s adventures and interactions with Boy (great movie dog), robots, and boulder snails who could squish him easily are super enjoyable, and none of the added characters or side quests feel unwelcome or unnecessary. Also, the tone is wonderful as Matthews combines action, humor, scares and whimsy into something that never feels too precious or cute. It would be neat to see further Love and Monsters exploits, and I hope enough people catch on to warrant a sequel.
Watch Love and Monsters, so you can promote Love and Monsters.

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