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Trailer Alert! Love and Monsters (2020)


Dylan O’Brien hides with his trusty dog in Love and Monsters (2020)
Paramount has released a trailer for Love and Monsters, a hero’s journey post-apocalyptic creature feature. Dylan O’Brien, Michael Rooker, and Jessica Henwick star in this action-adventure monster mash, coming to theaters on October 16. You can check out the trailer here!

It is closing in on Halloween season, and normally this is the prime territory for horror movies to land in theaters, but this is no ordinary time. Other horror movies with great expectations, like Halloween Kills, Spiral, and A Quiet Place Part II have already abandoned their plans for a 2020 release, which leaves the proverbial door wide open. Enter the Michael Matthews [Five Fingers for Marseilles] directed Love and Monsters into this calendar space. The question is, even with the doors open, are people going to be ready to risk COVID19 to see a horror movie?

Joel (Dylan O’Brien, [The Maze Runner]) is a young man who has lost everything in his life due to a monsterpocalypse that has thrown the planet into a post-armageddon dangerous landscape. The surviving humans have bunkered down into small colonies and only the exceedingly brave or foolhardy would dare venture out into the wilds. Joel appears to be the foolhardy type, as he discovers that the girl he loves, Aimee (Jessica Henwick, [Iron Fist]) is still alive and out there somewhere, and he must go out and find her.

Along the way, he meets a spunky dog and a couple of hardened wilderness survivors (Michael Rooker and Ariana Greenblatt) who will assist him on his journey through monster-infested territory. Sound familiar? This has the classic Joseph Campbell hero’s journey tropes plastered all over it. Star Wars. Harry Potter. The Odyssey, The Princess Bride. This story looks to be a well-traveled path. But, it’s a fan favorite and one that is so ingrained into our culture that it has the crowd-pleasing tropes built right in.

O’Brien looks like he’s taking more of a comic turn on this film compared to his fairly dour portrayal of Thomas in the YA franchise The Maze Runner, which suffered from its own internal over-earnest tendencies. It is good to see that he seems fully recovered from the serious head-injury stunt accident that he suffered filming Maze Runner: The Death Cure involving jumping from a moving train. (Yikes!) Michael Rooker, of course, is a treasure and continues to ride high on his Walking Dead and Guardians of the Galaxy hot streak. I’m always glad to see him show up in whatever movie he appears in. Both Henwick and O’Brien are 29 years in age, but they have a youthful aspect to them. I do not buy either of them as teenagers, though.

Being that this is a Paramount film, the production shows off a lot of high-quality production values. There is certainly some CG work, but it’s pretty solid, at least as far as we can tell from the trailer. There might also be some practical effects here, like the burrowing creatures, which look good. However, given the potential for a too-familiar plot and a PG-13 rating, this has the trappings of an adventure romp and could very well be on the lighter side of the horror fare. A good Gateway film, perhaps? As far as horror movies go, something akin to Zombieland, A Quiet Place, Monsters, King Kong, and Tremors would be films that I’m sure Paramount was using as comparable fare and precedents… though the

It does look like a fun adventure from the trailer, and as starved as movie-going audiences have been, I’m hoping that theaters in my area will be allowing patrons by the time it’s released on October 16, as I love a good creature-feature action-adventure. Are you interested enough to go see it in the theaters? Or are you going to wait for the streaming film? So far audiences appear to be reluctant to venture out into the cineplex, and it will be interesting to see if this movie can make any kind of impact when it is released.

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