Michael Matthews’s “Love and Monsters” is one of those rare fresh and funny romantic survivalist action-adventure where audiences and critics would agree is a hugely entertaining flick. The unfortunate thing about it is that it came out during a pandemic, which took away from its theatrical feel. And believe me, this film deserves to be seen on the big screen. That being said, we get a chance to see it in the comfort and safety of our homes thanks to it being released on 4K and Blu-ray. Led by a charming Dylan O’Brien, “Love and Monsters” puts a fun little twist on what fans know about the post-apocalyptic monster genre that has plenty of humor and also a surprisingly amount of emotional depth.
“Love and Monsters” is set after nations around the globe worked as a collective to use their missiles to bring down a world-ending asteroid. While successful, the chemicals in those missiles found their way falling back onto the Earth and mutating harmless insects and carnival prize goldfish into hideous man-eating creatures. As a result, the surviving human population were forced to live underground. Many adapt to their new bunker lifestyle by acting as self-pointed protectors of the bunk, and some are able to find their soulmates. However, for Joel (Dylan O’Brien), he’s alone with no real purpose. The only thing that keeps him going is the idea that he can be reunited with Aimee (Jessica Wenwick), a true love who is in another bunker 80 miles away from his.
Worried that something happened to Aimee when one of their radio conversations was abruptly cut out, Joel decides to venture out into a dangerous unknown confronting all sorts of monsters who sees humans as tasty treats. Along the way, he befriends a stray dog named Boy, who rescues from a giant mutant frog. Joel is then rescued by two other survivalists Clyde Dutton (Michael Rooker) and Minnow (Ariana Greenblatt), who are heading north because the colder weather and higher elevation means fewer monsters.
But being the noble warrior floating on the wings of love, Joel is determined to be reunited with Aimee at all costs.
“Love and Monsters” is pretty much nostalgia fodder for the apocalypse genre. Giving it levity through humor and romance doesn’t necessarily make it original, but because there aren’t too many films like these, it does make it refreshing and enjoyable. It also helps to have such a very likeable cast.
Thought the film itself is great, the bonus features leave much to be desired as it only has the bare minimum of deleted scenes, various interviews with the cast titled “Bottom of the Food Chan: The Cast of Love and Monsters,” and creating the scenery titled “It’s a Monster’s World: Creating a Post-Apocalyptic Landscape.”
As for the technical aspects the 4k enhances the blacks, shadows, and lighting, which makes it feel like you are within that space. Of course that all depends on how dark the room is. Of course, the 4K upgrades also makes some of the digital effects more obvious, but what’s fun is how you can see the details to the practical effects. Yes, there are some spectacular practical effects. I didn’t notice too many problems with the sound as I could hear the dialogue clearly and the action scenes didn’t feel any bit confusing or disorienting.
Overall, “Love and Monsters” is a nice addition to that 4K collection is you are looking for something that is energetic and fun. Sure, it lacks bonus features, but if that isn’t something you are interested and just want to watch the film in the highest quality possible, then the 4K is the way to go.