If you saw Love and Monsters on VOD, you are probably saying what most of us are sick of seeing. Theatres are (mostly) unavailable, so we are left sifting through streamers looking for VOD opportunities.
So, that’s what brought me to Love and Monsters.
Seriously, could this be the end of theatres as we know it? Scary thought.
But let’s turn our attention to what has been a saving grace for many movie lovers going through the pandemic, VOD.
The most recent blockbuster released on VOD is Love and Monsters. This release is set in a post-apocalyptic world where monsters have almost wiped out the entire human race. That is, except for a few stragglers hiding out in underground bunkers. One character faces a perilous journey back to the surface world to be reunited with the love of his life.
That’s where we begin with…
One Man and His Dog
Dylan O’Brien achieves a career best performance as lead character Joel Dawson. He has lived in an underground bunker with other survivors. Together, they hide from the monsters for the past seven years, not once going up to the surface.
He lost everyone he loves during the end of the world and got separated from the love of his life Aimee, played by Jessica Henwick of Iron Fist and Game of Thrones fame. The only way Joel can reach her is via long-distance radio. Although he is dangerously unprepared (freezes in fear when he sees a monster and doesn’t know how to fight), he decides to finally risk it all and chase after the girl of his dreams. Like, above the ground and outside of the bunker.
Along his journey, he finds a dog named Boy. Those interactions are a highlight in Love and Monsters that prove he has skilled acting ability. Throughout the movie, he acts alongside Boy and creates a loveable heart-warming bond with his canine friend. Despite Joel’s quest to find his girl, Love and Monsters isn’t a romance story; it’s about the power of self-belief and doing something you never knew you could achieve.
As we discover with Joel, there are other survivors out there and it doesn’t take long for them to come to the rescue when Joel finds himself in a spot of trouble. Clyde Dutton (Michael Rooker) and his partner-in-crime, a young girl named Minnow (Ariana Greenblatt) are stand-out performers in the little screen time they have.
Acting as mentors to Joel, they teach him how to survive in this world of monsters and train him how to fight, sometimes with disastrously funny results.
Michael Rooker is great, as always, as the survival expert Clyde and shares fantastic chemistry with Ariana Greenblatt in the father/daughter role. It is easy to see how she handles herself wielding a bow with ease.
Jessica Henwick as Aimee is another character that kicks serious ass. Literally. In the third act of the movie Jessica Henwick highlights her stunt talents that made her a standout character in the Marvel Netflix franchises. With upcoming roles like Godzilla vs. Kong and The Matrix 4, she is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the movie industry.
World of Monsters
Love and Monsters does an exceptional job at building a unique and impressive world from the ground up. Mutated insects, amphibians, and anything creepy crawly take over the world after radiation. This causes them to change and grow into giant murderous monsters. Remember the movie Eight Legged Freaks? Think of that, but worse.
As Joel navigates the surface, you feel that he is always in danger as giant spider webs hang from every tree and egg sacs the size of human beings rest upon houses. The remains of an old war can be seen in the landscape with destroyed tanks and gigantic dead monsters scattered throughout the wasteland.
There is never a dull moment in Love and Monsters as Joel battles to survive among the likes of giant toads, ground-burrowing centipedes, and indestructible crabs. Although some of these monsters may not be as bad as they first seem if he can somehow get close enough to find out which ones.
Joel puts together a guide throughout the movie full of how to survive in this world. Different monster weaknesses, which ones to avoid to escape, and the different types of foods you can and can’t eat. Step aside Bear Grylls, here comes…Joel.
Any Heart for Love and Monsters?
Love and Monsters is a movie that ticks all the boxes and refuses to fall into one single genre. Its funny, heart-warming, romantic, scary and full of action all perfectly blended into one solid movie.
Love and Monsters would have benefited massively from a wide cinematic release but still manages to bring all the fun, thrills and emotional punches to our homes with VOD.
With impressive and unique world building put on display the sky is the limit for this potential franchise but only if it can make the money the studio will inevitably require. It most certainly deserves it. Go out and support this film in any way you can.