Canada, US. 2020. Action/Fantasy
109 min.
Director: Michael Matthews
Cast: Dylan O’Brien (Joel), Jessica Henwick (Aimee), Michael Rooker (Clyde)

A funny natural horror flick.

A natural horror-monster disaster movie is always linked to a lot of death, blood, and gore. Even comedies like Shaun of the Dead have plenty of those elements. So making a movie without those elements and still be attractive is a difficult task. But it’s just what Michael Matthews’ Love and Monsters does. The director manages to combine danger and adventure and the risk of being eaten alive with a warm and light-hearted touch in a successful and ultimately fun way.

Not your average hero.

Dylan O'Brien - Love and Monsters (2020)
Dylan O’Brien – Love and Monsters (2020)

Joel tells us from his shelter, how 7 years ago an asteroid is going to hit the earth. This disaster is avoided because the projectile is destroyed by missiles launched from earth. Unexpectedly, chemical elements fell to the ground, small portions from the same asteroid, caused severe mutations to all cold-blooded life, increasing its size exponentially. Suddenly, the human being was no longer at the top of the food chain. Approximately 95% of humans had died and the few survivors are hiding just like him. Joel considered the weakest link in his colony, discovers that his girlfriend also survived the apocalypse, and lives in another community only seven days away from his. After some events that make him question his life, he decides to meet her. He embarks on an improbable and dangerous journey full of dangers.

Humor, but not silly.

Dylan O'Brien - Love and Monsters (2020)
Dylan O’Brien – Love and Monsters (2020)

The story is not new. The fact that the hero has to travel a desolate terrain full of monsters is a common theme in the zombie genre. Only in this case, it is full of giant insects and other vermin. There is more of a similarity to Zombieland, from which the creators took not only several ideas but also their light treatment. And despite the loan, Love and Monster’s success is that it manages to maintain that humorous approach effectively.

The script knows how to establish latent risk from the beginning, but without showing blood and without falling into gore. This allowed the film to receive a PG 13 rating in the US. But the best thing is that the movie is not stupid. Yes, it has its plot holes, but they can be overlooked. The script also gives depth to his characters and we see Joel’s transformation. We can see character development. Yes, maybe a bit hasty, but it is present.

Cast chemistry.

Micael Rooker and Dylan O'Brien - Love and Monsters (2020)
Micael Rooker and Dylan O’Brien – Love and Monsters (2020)

Dylan O’Brien does very well as the gentle and sweet Joel. He’s certainly not your typical alpha male. In advance, we know that he is going to get into trouble and it is through his voice-over that the narrative progresses. Joel needs help on his way and meets Clyde and Minnow, played by the always dependable Michael Rooker and little Ariana Greenblatt. Although they don’t appear on screen that long, the chemistry between the three actors is remarkable. Jessica Hemwick plays Aimee well as Joel’s love interest and is convincing in action scenes, something she had already shown in the Iron Fist series. Noteworthy are the adorable performances of dog actors Dodge and Hero as Boy.

Good SFX and soundtrack.

Love and Monsters (2020)
Love and Monsters (2020)

The effects are compelling. With a tendency more towards CGI than practical effects, the creatures look threatening, without being scary, but at the same time, some even adorable. The situation that these monsters have specific food preferences, some preferring humans, other animals, make the threats more varied and not of a single note. In addition, the film has a good soundtrack, with recent songs and old classics by such great artists as The The, Roy Orbison, Ben E King, Arcade Fire, Mercury Rev, and Coolio.

Has a spirit

Love and Monsters (2020)
Love and Monsters (2020)

Love and Monsters is consistent in its light and entertaining pace throughout the story. By not focusing on the darkest aspects, you might think that the story would not have punch or emotion, but that is not the case. Yes, it has its flaws and certain conveniences in the script. That same light treatment hinders the film from being truly memorable. But the balance in all the elements of the story, the danger, the risk, the adventure, and the humor, are very well combined. It is unquestionably a pleasant surprise to see a movie with that «it» factor. Love and Monster has a soul.

Delirium score

Balancing humor with a sense of danger. Good CGI. Cast commited. A pleaseant surprise.

Written by Guillermo Garnica Bouchot

Music Lover, Comic Reader, Film Buff, Cat Person.

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