Yes, you read it right. Writer-Director-Everything-elser Gareth Edwards hit a major home run with his first movie, last year’s Monsters, which I still can’t get out of my head. Using an intriguing concept, bravura filmmaking techniques, appealing leads, amazing home computer FX chops, and a natural born filmmaker’s eye for drama and suspense, Edwards has created a most unlikely minor masterpiece. He shot it, directed it, edited it, did the incredible special effects on his home computer, all the while using non-actors as 90 percent of the onscreen talent. Just unbelievable.
Is it perfect? No. Lapses of logic, ham-handed political commentary, even some unintentional similarities to another noble attempt at mindful sci-fi, District 9, hobble it just a bit. But we tend to cut it some slack due to its micro-budget (I’ve heard somewhere in the low six figures), its amazing risk-taking and virtuoso filmmaking by Edwards. It’s really really good.
Edwards’ accomplishment looms large. This is a filmmaker of voluminous talent. Even his lead, the interestingly named Scoot McNairy, is going to be a big star. Count on it.