Gareth Edwards made a decent sized splash in 2010 with his feature film debut Monsters. Someone certainly took notice, because it landed him the directing job on Legendary’s Godzilla remake, not a bad gig for your second real movie. Tom Green is also going to use what could become an indie creature feature franchise as his first full directorial effort, helming the sequel Monsters: Dark Continent. Slated to come out sometime in 2014, we now have our first look at the sequel in the form of a spooky new clip.
Clip may be the wrong way to describe this video from Empire, seeing as it is only a single long shot. Though we never cut, it shows a fair amount in just under a minute. The frame begins on heavy construction equipment in the process of hauling away the corpses of dead, many-tentacled creatures. You can’t help but imagine a giant trench that serves as a sort of mass monster grave where the bulldozers dump and bury the bodies. As the camera pans through the smoke we see the faces of two young soldiers. Either these are new recruits who haven’t seen such a spectacle yet—it’s possible they’ve never seen one of the monsters up close and personal—or this isn’t all too common a sight. Ominous tones, worried expressions, and oppressive background noise including the beating of a helicopter’s rotor, combine to create a heavy sense of claustrophobia.
From the name, Monsters: Dark Continent, it should be readily apparent that the filmmakers are trying to evoke Joseph Condrad’s Heart of Darkness. This is something the first film toys with, and from what we know of the plot, the sequel looks to lean even more heavily on this. The story picks up seven years after the events of the first film, and the infected zones have spread across the globe, taking over the top spot on the food chain.
When an American soldier goes rogue deep in the quarantine zone, Noah (Johnny Harris), a veteran soldier with tons of experience, and some personal demons, is sent to take care of the situation. Maybe it’s more Apocalypse Now than it is Heart of Darkness. When his unit is destroyed, Noah finds himself alone with a young, fresh recruit, a soldier who happens to be the brother of Noah’s target. Along with a local woman who serves as their guide, the soldiers embark on a journey that invariably changes everything.
One of the things that makes Monsters unique is that we rarely see the creatures until the very end. In large part this is due to the miniscule budget—Edwards did the visual effects himself on his Mac—but it adds a layer of mystery and suspense to the film. You don’t see the monsters until the characters do. We’ll see if Green and company take a similar approach with Dark Continent.