When modern monsters mercilessly attack

Time to cover some newer, lesser known horror flicks.

MONSTERS (2010)

monsters cover

Six years after an alien invasion, giant walking squid aliens with glowing heads still walk the earth uncontained. When a photographer in Mexico is ordered to bring his boss’s daughter back to the U.S. safely, they make one wrong move after another and end up traveling right through the most dangerous, alien plagued areas of Mexico on their way to the border.

monsters couple

Despite the first scene being “found footage” style and giving me Cloverfield flashbacks (blog here), the movie is not a found footage film. Yay! However, while the performances are fantastic, the film spends so much time exploring race, social class, and the troubled relationships of the two main characters that it mostly fails to deliver the very things that give it its name.

The giant land squid look amazing with no signs of bad CGI but the first one doesn’t appear until the 50-minute mark in a quick water scene. Next, there’s a direct (and less effective) rip off of the jeep scene from Jurassic Park. And finally, there’s a meaningful (?) alien encounter at the end of the film.

monsters monster

Also, the characters rarely seem afraid of the creatures and have oddly little general knowledge of the creatures that have been on the planet for six years. WTF? The government would have studied and reported the fuck out of them bitches by then.

Monsters is one of the most anti-climactic (and anti-beginning, and anti-middle) monster flicks ever.

PROWL (2010)

 prowl cover

Prowl is sort of like The Descent in a warehouse, with a good dose of Primal (blog here) thrown in. So it got my attention from the start. It also stars Ruta Gedmintas of The Strain, Perdita Weeks of As Above, So Below (blog here), and gorgeous Josh Bowman of Night Wolf (blog here) and the series Revenge. As a bonus, he gets shirtless.

prowlcast

You’ve heard this one before. Kids head off on a road trip and make a bad decision that gets them into a really bad situation. Once they’re in that warehouse though, shit gets crazy. FAST. Ravaging man beasts with black eyes attack relentlessly. This is some seriously gory stuff. And the creatures can leap and just levitate up into the air.

prowl monster

The film is brutal, gory, and relentlessly suspenseful, but it’s also wickedly modern, sleek, and polished with cliché scare tactics left and right…that work every time and keep the film moving. It’s so quickly paced I was temporarily bewildered as to what was going to happen after most of the cast was just gone right after the very first attack. But fear not. Prowl has a little twist up its sleeve. It’s one you can pretty much see coming, but the way it’s executed makes for a wickedly thrilling time.

FROM THE DARK (2014)

from the dark movie

In From the Dark, a young couple’s car breaks down in the middle of the country. They end up in an old farmhouse being pursued by a bloodthirsty Nosferatu looking creature that’s afraid of light.

Cheap thrills and scares abound in this hide and seek/cat & mouse film. It is definitely a fun horror experience thanks to the nerve-racking premise of having to stay in the light to keep the monster away. Yeah. I know. We’ve seen this before in movies like Darkness Falls (blog here) and Vanishing on 7th Street (blog here). But the monster here is creepy as hell and cloaked in shadow most of the time. Plus, the isolated setting of the house is terrifying.

from the dark monster

The downside is, you can’t help feel for a majority of the film that the characters keep stupidly re-entering the dark for no fucking reason. They have a perfectly safe room to stay in that delivers all the light they need to keep away the monster, yet they constantly venture back into the darkness with just a fricking flashlight or match. WTF?

I know we wouldn’t have a movie if the characters simply did the right thing, but it’s really hard to accept that people who know they could just stay in a well-lit room until the sun comes out would opt to do anything but that. It leaves you with really mixed feelings about the film in the end.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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