Article updated: 2021.06.23
The Love and Monsters (2020) is a post-apocalyptic adventure film. The movie was reviewed by Kadmon.
Product: Love and Monsters, movie (2020)
Original title: Love and Monsters
Setting: future fantasy Earth
Product type: Film, Genre: post-apocalyptic adventure, Style: sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, monsters, adventure
Reviewer: Kadmon, Type: Male, 40s, Preferences: Immersive, logical story, consistent setting, prefers surprises to spoilers, prefers establishing elements before referencing them
Watched: very recent (2020.11), first time
Rating: Good (2+ out of 3 points), Enjoyment: Great (3 out of 3 points)
* * *
This is my review of Love and Monsters, a post-apocalyptic adventure movie from 2020. It's about a young man taking a journey in a monster-infested world. The Love and Monsters film is interesting, I recommend it.
If you'd like to be surprised by the Love and Monsters film, I don't recommend you to watch the trailer beyond 1:05, because it starts to gives away parts of the story. Even if you don't mind glimpses into the story, you should probably stop watching that trailer at 2:10, as it will take away the tension from a scene.
* * *
I don't think I've heard about Love and Monsters before running into it. I was trying to find some comedy to watch, when I ran into Love and Monsters. I don't think I've heard of the movie before that. I didn't watch the trailer.
Love and Monsters is about a young man taking a journey in a monster-infested world.
Love and Monsters is a fun movie. It's a survival horror, filled with light-hearted moments. The story is good, it really shows the writers worked on it. Basically everything that happens is prepared and foreshadowed in a way, so you'll always understand what is happening. There's a character arc for the protagonist. Although "love" is a prominent part of the title, there's no romance in this movie.
The movie looks nice. The creatures are interesting. The special effects look good.
The characters are okay. The actors are good, relatable. Even the dogs were good (I'm not sure how they used the two dog actors, but I assume we've seen both dogs in the role, so probably both of them were good).
I don't remember the music, but I assume it was okay.
Love and Monsters is an interesting post-apocalyptic adventure, I think fans of the genre will enjoy it.
I was satisfied with Love and Monsters (2020).
Rating: Good (2+ out of 3 points). Love and Monsters is a well-made film.
Enjoyment: Great (3 out of 3 points). Love and Monsters is interesting, I liked it.
Rewatchability: High. I think if you liked the movie, you liked the action and the themes.
Chance of watching it again: There's a chance. If I want some light-hearted monster movie, I might watch it again.
Chance of watching a sequel: High. I'd sure watch it.
Will you enjoy this?
If you like light-hearted monster action movies, you might like Love and Monsters.
If you prefer serious monster action movies (Aliens, Predator), you might find Love and Monsters disappointing.
If you prefer romance stories, Love and Monsters is not for your, even though there's some promise for a possible romance.
Watching for plot points
If you are interested in monster stories, I think it's worth watching the Love and Monsters movie for the plot points.
* * *
I liked the Love and Monsters movie.
Unlike a regular survival horror, there was no threat that the protagonist will fail or die. Some parts feel like they were borrowed from Monsters, Zombieland, and other post-apocalyptic and monster horror films, but the overall plot doesn't feel borrowed. I've felt it's original and fun.
It's interesting that I've seen reviews who consider this a "coming of age" story, but Love and Monsters is quite the contrary. A coming of age story would require the protagonist to learn responsibility, however here we see that Joel has no clue about the world around him, yet he decides to convince people to take on a deadly trip. This just shows how immature he is.
The cover of the movie is okay, it doesn't say much, but it doesn't spoil the movie.
The trailer is okay. Although it makes it look like an action movie - it features all of the action scenes -, the movie is actually more slower paced than indicated. The trailer also features shots from the entire movie, even up to the ending, but I don't think the viewer could predict what will happen in the movie.
If you prefer spoilers, it's a great trailer for the Love and Monsters film. If you prefer to avoid spoilers, stop at 1:05.
Promise of the first scene
The first scene is exposition, it's an animated sequence of how the setting of the movie came to be. It doesn't really tell us what is going to happen. The humorous tone makes me hope that the story will be something like that.
Then the next scene is another exposition about the daily life of the people in the shelter. I still have no clue what will happen in the movie.
Execution: I didn't expect anything, but I was not disappointed. The lack of promise didn't make the movie a bad story. The light-hearted tone promised in the intro was kept throughout the story.
Plot summary / Synopsis
There was a catastrophe that turned some animals into monsters, who wiped out humanity.
We see a young man (Dylan O'Brien as Joel Dawson) living in a bunker with some others. Unlike the rest of the team, he doesn't go out on monster hunting quests, he just does the housekeeping chores. One day monsters breach the bunker. The young man tries to help, but he freezes when he finds the monster. He decides that he'll take a journey to another bunker quite far away, where his ex-girlfriend lives.
As he travels, he is attacked by a giant toad, but he is saved by a dog (Hero and Dodge as Boy). He falls into a centipede nest, but he is saved by travellers (Michael Rooker as Clyde Dutton, Ariana Greenblatt as Minnow). They travel together for a while, before they part ways. He is attacked by a giant centipede, but he is able to kill it. He finds a still working robot, and uses it to contact the bunker of his ex-girlfriend. She tells him that other survivors found them, and they will take the people in the bunker to a safe place. He is attacked by a giant worm that he kills, but poisonous leeches attach to him, making him delirious.
He is found by a rescue team lead by his ex-girlfriend (Jessica Henwick as Aimee), and they bring him to their bunker, that lies near the beach. He meets the saviours (Dan Ewing as Cap, Ellen Hollman as Dana, Tre Hale as Rocko) there, who found the bunker while sailing on a boat. They celebrate together, as next day they are going to leave together. The yound man finds some discrepancies between the tall tales of the saviours, and his own knowledge of the creatures. He realises that they've put poison in the drinks, and the inhabitants of the bunker starts to fall down. He is knocked out by one of the saviours.
Next morning they find themselves tied up on the beach. The saviours confess that they only wanted to take their supplies, and they intend to feed them to the giant crab that pulls their boat. The young man frees the giant crab from the electric leash, and the creature sinks the boat, killing the saviours.
Now that their supplies are taken, the people decide to leave the bunker, and try their luck finding another shelter. The young man goes back to his old bunker, and convinces the inhabitants to leave. The movie ends with everybody on a journey. (Probably getting all of them killed.)
Love and Monsters is set in the future of Earth.
In the near future, Earth was about to be hit by an asteroid, but all the nations got together to destroy that asteroid. The attack was successful, but the fallout of chemicals mutated "cold blooded" animals (insects, fish, amphibians, lizards) into large monsters. 95% of the human population died in a year. Humans now hide in vaults, and it's been seven years since the event.
Their technology is a lot more advanced than ours, they had humanoid robot companions.
The message of the story
Although it sounds stupid, it's probably something like this: "Don't stay in your safe space when you are in a murderous environment, try to get out, and find the beauty in life for a few hours until you get killed. It's totally worth it."
The structure of the story
The scenes of the Love and Monsters film are mostly played in sequence, following the same storyline. There are some flashbacks to the events of the cataclysm.
It has the usual arc of the dramatic structure - beginning, action, resolution.
* * *
Things I liked
* * *
How does it compare to the other works of the creators?
From the story writer, and one of the screenwriters (Brian Duffield), I've seen Underwater (2020). I liked both films, but they are totally different in mood, although the themes are closer, and both films feel like they are cut up from popular movies of the genre.
From the other screenwriter (Matthew Robinson), I've seen The Invention of Lying (2009). That was also a fun movie.
I haven't seen any other works of the director (Michael Matthews).
* * *
The story was good, the problems were not so distracting that they would have prevented me from enjoying Love and Monsters.
I didn't get stuck on the setting, I accepted that only critters mutated, while dogs, cattle, and most of all, humans were untouched by the mutations. Or how they were able to have working electricity, although that might be due to futuristic technology.
Establishing the goals: Although it's not that much of a problem, but the story would have been better, if there was some more established background for the journey of the protagonist. Why did he decide to suddenly pack up and find his girlfriend? This was a weak part in the story.
Knocking the guy out: Why do the "saviours" start their work with Joel? Why don't they wait until the berries start to work? I don't think any of them would have been able to hear what they were talking about.
The ending: The ending implies that the kid is able to convince everyone to leave their hideouts, and start a journey to an unknown location that might be a better place. With all those elderly people, and small babies, this will probably just kill off most of the remaining humans. What happened with the kid, was the exception. He was incredibly lucky to survive two trips, while the other veteran scavangers survived multiple trips, yet they constantly died.
At that moment it looks like they are losing the battle. The monsters are getting stronger or more numerous - in the past seven years there were no breaches into the vault of the kid, yet now there are so many, they are ready to leave everything they have collected to allow them to survive.
Nobody shared information: Although they have a radio network, with dozens of vaults communicating, nobody ever thought of sharing information about the creatures they've met? During multiple conversation with his girlfriend, he never asked where does she live and how far is that from his vault?
Nobody cares about others: The pirates already raided at least one settlement. Why didn't the other survivors notice their work? They didn't work in secret, they openly met the people of the seashore settlement, and they let others know that they are about to go on a journey. Nobody notices that those people who supposedly enter the yacht are never seen again? Or those vaults who decide against going with them, going silent?
Careless survivors: Why are the people of the seashore settlement so naive that they don't even leave some lookouts or guards? Even if not for the pirates, but to look for monsters that might just crawl out of the ground?
The letters: Why does the kid write letters if they have radio contact? If he had access to the radio, why didn't he find the girl a lot earlier? It looked really strange that it was the first time he was able to speak with her.
* * *
Possibilities of improvement
How it could have been better?
A more established reasoning why the protagonist leaves the shelter would be useful. For example, if there were some kind of urgency, that would have been great. If the ex-girlfriend's bunker was in some kind of impending danger, and that's why they started to broadcast their location to people, it would have made it more understandable, why did Joel decide to go there. The rest of his bunker mates would know it better than to leave the safety of the shelter.
I'm not sure we really need those flashbacks. I think the same story could be told by referencing those events, instead of showing them.
A less suicidal ending would be better. Or at least show the audience that they survived until finding a safe place, no matter how unrealistic that would be.
* * *
- Dangerous giant creatures take over the Earth.
- Humans hide in shelters after a catastrophe.
- The monster fighting scenes are good. They could be used to depict previously recorded events of monster battles for role-playing games.
Scenarios - Role-playing game
Scenarios - Wargame
- The defenders have a base, that is attacked by creatures. The units of the defender are deployed first, randomly around the base. Then the attacker chooses the attacking force - either one very strong creature, or a few medium creatures that are stronger than the defender units, or an infinite supply of weaker creatures. The weaker creatures start with a few models on the table, but they can get reinforcements at the end of every round: on a d6 roll of 1-3 they get the number of extra models that is rolled on the dice. The breach is determined randomly, anywhere on the playing area. There's an armoury for the defenders, they have to reach the place to get their weapons. Defenders can carry weapons for the others, but then they are unable to fight, as long as the weapons are on them. A carrier can arm any number of defenders. The defenders have to close the breach to win the game. In the breached area, roll a d6 every turn for every defender. On a roll of 1, the breach is closed. The defenders win if they close the breach and kill every creature, and they still have more than half of their units. The creatures win if they kill more than half of the defenders.
- The game can be made harder if they have to roll several successes to finally close the breach. Let's say you need 4 successes. Before the game begins, count the number of zones in the playing area. There are twice as many supplies that can be distributed across the zones. When you roll a success, you can add the number of supplies to the sum of the successes. If it reaches 4, the breach is closed. Defender models can carry one supply from one zone to another, but they are unable to fight while they carry.
- The defenders are numerous, but they have inferior units compared to the attackers. The attackers have fewer, stronger units, and they have a giant creature / robot, that they control with a device. If the defenders can destroy the device (or take over it), the control of the creature is given to the defenders. To destroy/take over, they have to spend an action, and roll a d6: 1-2: succesful, 3-6: unsuccesful. The defenders win if the attackers die or leave the playing area. The attackers win if they kill the defenders.
Miniatures - 1/50-1/60 (28-32mm scale)
Characters: Post-apocalyptic human-sized humans.
Monsters: Any kind of plastic bugs.
* * *
Harry Harrison: Deathworld (1960): The planet is inhabited by dangerous creatures, while humans hide in shelters. The story is about making peace with the creatures.
2000AD: Kingdom: Earth is taken over by dangerous creatures (giant bugs), while humans hide in shelters. It has some comedic elements.
Monsters (2010): A part of Earth is taken over by dangerous creatures (aliens). A pair goes on a journey to reach safety. Not a comedy.
Screamers (1995): The planet is taken over by dangerous creatures (robots), while humans hide in shelters. A man goes on a journey to reach another shelter. Not a comedy.
Falling Skies (2011-2015): Earth is taken over by dangerous creatures (aliens), while humans hide in shelters. The story is about fighting a war against the creatures. Not a comedy.
* * *
Is Love and Monsters film based on a book or comics?
No, Love and Monsters is not based on either books or comics.
Is there Cthulhu in the Love and Monster movie?
No, there is no Cthulhu in the released Love and Monsters film. However, according to Filmento, an earlier script featured an all-female Cthulhu cultist group living at the destination of the trip, who tried to sacrifice the kid to the Great Old One. In the movie, we get a group of pirates taking over the destination, who try to sacrifice everyone to a giant crab.
Is there a post credit scene in Love and Monsters?
Yes, there's a post credit scene in Love and Monsters.
Where can I watch Love and Monsters online? Is Love and Monsters available on Netflix? Is Love and Monsters on Amazon?
As of 2021.06.04, Love and Monsters is on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and Netflix.
Will there be a sequel?
We will see. Although I liked Love and Monsters, and I'd be interested in a sequel, it looks like it's not going to be a box office hit, so it's really up to the creators.
* * *
IMDB: Love and Monsters (2020): Database article.
WikiPedia: Love and Monsters (film): Database article.
Letterboxd: Love and Monsters 2020: Database article.
Rotten Tomatoes: Love and Monsters 2020: Database article.
Filmento: The original third act of Love and Monsters: Creation article about a previous version of the script.
Julien Romeo (on ProUser): LOVE AND MONSTERS – LEAD MODELER – CREATING THE HELLCRAB by JULIEN ROMEO: Creation article about the work on the giant crab.§
Scriptshadow: Screenplay Review – Monster Problems: Review article about the original script of Love and Monsters.
Reviews with no spoilers - Love and Monsters film (2020)
Beyond The Trailer: Love and Monsters REVIEW: Review video, with minor spoilers.¤
David Ehrlich (for Indie Wire): ‘Love and Monsters’ Review: Dylan O’Brien Leads a Fun and Imaginative Post-Apocalyptic Romp: Review article, with no spoilers.Ł/§
greigzilla (for We've Got (Back) Issues): Love And Monsters: Review article of the movie, with minor spoilers.
John Squires (for Bloody Disgusting): [Review] Delightful Monster Mash ‘Love and Monsters’ Embraces the Comedy-Horror Spirit of ‘Zombieland’: Review article, with no spoilers.§
Nate Zoebl: Love and Monsters (2020): Review article about the film with minor spoilers.
Perri Nemiroff: Love and Monsters Review: Dylan O'Brien Shines (and So Does His Canine Co-Star): Review video with no spoilers.¤
Sean Chandler Talks About: Love and Monsters (2020) - Movie Review: Review video with no spoilers if you just listen to it. Minor spoilers if you also watch it, because of the movie scenes played during the video.¤
BlackGayComicGeek: Love and Monsters (2020) - Movie Review: Review video with no spoilers.¤
Jeremy Jahns: Love And Monsters - Movie Review: Review video with minor spoilers.¤
Reviews with no spoilers - Love and Monsters film (2020) - German
Torsten Schrader (for Blair Witch.de): Love and Monsters - The monster fun that we need now - New on Netflix (in German): Review article with no spoilers, in German.
Reviews with no spoilers - Love and Monsters film (2020) - Hungarian
Reviews with no spoilers - Love and Monsters film (2020) - Spanish
Elengy Cine: Crítica - 'De amor y monstruos' (in Spanish): Review video, with no spoilers, in Spanish.¤
Reviews with spoilers - Love and Monsters film (2020)
Alex Finch (for Comedy To Watch): Now That’s What I Call Quite Good: Love And Monsters: Review article with spoilers. Includes a brief plot summary.
Alteori: I am in love with LOVE AND MONSTERS - SPOILERS: Review video of the Love and Monsters movie, with spoilers.¤
Scriptshadow: Script-to-Screen – Love and Monsters: Review article of the Love and Monsters movie, with spoilers.
Reviews with spoilers - Love and Monsters film (2020) - Italian
Marco Minniti (for Asbury Movies): Love and Monsters (in Italian): Review article with spoilers, in Italian.
Analysis - Love and Monsters movie (2020)
Filmento: How to Build the Ultimate Movie Monster | Film Perfection Analysis video.Ł
* * *
* * *
Have you seen the Love and Monsters film? How do you like the movie? Would you recommend it to others? Do you know reviews or resources you'd like to add? What further thoughts do you have about it? Tell your opinion in the comments!