There are far too few monster movies out there for us to consume, but in order to market the films as engaging stories, writers and directors had to, believe it or not, be more original with their plots in order to really move the genre forward. Anne Hathaway stars in the film as an unemployed alcoholic living in New York with her boyfriend played by Dan Stevens when her troublesome antics provoke him to kick her out. She ends up back in her hometown where she runs into an old friend played by Jason Sudeikis possibly at his best as an actor.
Director Nacho Vigalondo delivers a much more thought provoking film that just happens to have monsters in it, but I will warn you, if you wanted Pacific Rim then you’ll be disappointed. Instead, you get a far more creative, smartly written dark comedy that tackles serious issues that many adults across the world face. Think of this as A Monster Calls, without the buckets of salt water. While the film is refreshingly original, it’s not perfect, but I can see where the hang ups are passable on most people’s standards. Unfortunately, certain origins of specific plot details are…minimal at best. Thankfully, the unique twist on so many other genre tropes takes over without me ever wondering why I’d question a majority of the film’s decisions.
Surprisingly enough, Anne Hathaway didn’t deliver as much nuance to her alcoholic character like her resume leads us to believe she would. Sure, she downed far too many brews night in and night out, but it was only through some snappy dialogue did we find out what she would do when she was drunk. Sudeikis on the other hand is incredibly nuanced and unbearably difficult to figure out only until his character chooses to reveal himself. I was really impressed with how engaged I was from beginning to end with his character Oscar. Tim Blake Nelson is another one of those actors you can’t help, but be engaged with, even though his role is minimal in the grand scheme of things.
Overall, I really enjoyed this movie, the idea is brilliant, the acting is good, and the emotion is there. Who knows where this will rank for my end of the year list, but I do know that it will be one of the top films on my “Underrated Films” list when that time comes. Whether you’re person who just likes blockbusters or you’re a person who strictly likes indies, at least this film tries to mesh both worlds to a degree while presenting the story with notable names, originality, and plenty of relative elements to go along with it.