Low budget filmmaking is difficult to do right. It’s easy to make a trashy slasher or a zombo-gore bonanza on a shoe-string, but to make a special effects spectacular with pathos and scope. That’s a beast of a whole different colour.
Monsters follows two characters as they cross an area of the US “infected” with tentacled aliens and their spores. They also fall in love and run away from stuff.
It’s a sparse story with clear parallels to American immigration and it just works. It’s even better when you know that the budget is in the thousands and that the director made all the SFX in consumer level effects software. Such a massive feat.
The film is beautifully shot and carefully paced. The two leads show varying levels of chops throughout, but mostly come out looking good. An interesting collection of non-actors populate the supporting roles grounds the film in a very real world of looming aliens.