We here at Screen Rant occasionally like to use our platform in order to help support films that we enjoy – films that could more exposure to a wider audience. You might remember that a couple of weeks ago (after a bit of prodding from other Screen Rant staff members) I watched and reviewed a film called Monsters, which was made on a micro-budget by newcomer director, Gareth Edwards.
In my official Monsters review, I praised Edwards for making a sci-fi movie that took the genre back to its roots: where real life and experience is explored by juxtaposing what is fundamentally human against circumstances or organisms that are extraordinarily inhuman.
Well, we’ve been holding on to a clip from Monsters that will better give you an idea what this movie is all about. It was also exactly a month ago today that I was lucky enough to sit down with Gareth Edwards at the New York Comic Con for an interview. What started out as a routine chat quickly became a passionate discussion about the wide range of possibility that is currently open to filmmakers working in the digital era, as well as the wide divide amongst sci-fi fans over what they expect from the genre today.
Check out the Monsters clip below, followed by a few bits of background info about the film and snippets from my interview with Edwards.
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Fun Facts About Monsters
- Edwards and the film’s two leads – Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able – filmed on location in several South American countries with only loose ideas about the story they wanted to tell. Edwards later manipulated that footage to make it feel cohesive. Guerrilla filmmaking at its best.
- Edwards shot 4.5 hours of film and spent months cutting that down to a 90 minute story.
- He wanted a monster movie that was “10 minutes of nuts and 80 minutes of therapy.”
- He believes that many monster movies have great effects but lame characters; his movie wanted to avoid that.
- One possible theme for Monsters is that “You can’t fight nature.” It’s a theme that runs parallel between the aliens’ maturation on Earth and the main characters, their attraction and the issues in their respective lives.
- Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able eventually got married after shooting Monsters. The chemistry you see onscreen is real.
- The Monsters themselves originated from theories about a Jupiter moon, Uropa, which has a deep-sea ocean. They are ocean creatures.
- The film cost more than the rumored 15k, but was still relatively inexpensive to make and is already in the black.
- Edwards is cool with both the positive and negative Internet attention – anything to gain exposure.
- Edwards filmed Mexico’s famed “Día de los Muertos” festival and twisted that footage into a protest against the aliens for the film.
Interview With Gareth Edwards [Minor Spoilers]
Screen Rant: Good science fiction (to me) usually functions as allegory, reflecting real-world issues or experiences. Can you talk about the allegory at work in Monsters?
Gareth Edwards: The allegory that was there on purpose I guess was more about the war on terror. Like, of course in the world there are things that are bad, but at what price is it worth getting rid of them? Like, if you kill more people to get rid of them than they killed, is that worth it? Is it worth it if tons of foreigners die to save one Westerner? So those are the sort of questions I was interested in – inside amongst the movie – they’re the allegorical things I’m happy with.
There’s a lot of other [allegories] – like immigration – that weren’t there by design, but I totally get the fact that since we chose Mexico and the boarder with America that it was going to be a major talking point for some. And it became a major talking point as we were filming – like when you were explaining to the non-actors, the Mexican people, etc., what our film was about – when we’d talk about the wall and things like that – they would respond quite heavily because they live with that [sort of stuff] all the time.