Gareth Edward’s low-budget 2010 creature feature Monsters may be an uneven movie—there are hints of greatness, but there are problems to be sure—but it certainly had a huge impact. Not only did it land the first time director/editor/writer/special effects guy the gig directing the Godzilla reboot that stomped through theaters earlier this summer (and a subsequent job directing one of the new standalone Star Wars movies), it also spawned a sequel, Monsters: Dark Continent, which is here with this new trailer to check out.
Immediately, you notice that this is a very different movie from Monsters, just in terms of scope and scale. The first film is little more than two characters walking through the jungle, trying not to encounter any massive space beasts in the quarantined “Infected Zone.” You rarely, if ever, get to see the world beyond, or even the titular monsters. Here, however, they’re all over the place, you go to different places, and even see things in space to a degree. And in this two-minute video there’s already more monster action than in almost all of the first film, at least up until the very end.
Dark Continent picks up ten years after the events of Monsters, and the “Infected Zones” have spread across the entire planet, knocking humans off of the top spot in the food chain. The spread of these alien beasts, understandably, creates chaos, and an insurgency kicks off in the Middle East when they start spreading there. A new recruit and a more seasoned soldier, Noah (Johnny Harris), are forced into a mission to search for another soldier who has gone rogue. Along the way, secrets are revealed, the true nature of their job comes to light, and, of course, there are lots of monsters to contend with.
All in all, this story is an obvious nod to Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, as well as Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and definitely has journey-into-the-unknown/more-than-we-signed-up-for feel to it. Also, the endless, unwinnable war against forces that won’t go away and don’t fight with conventional means, appears to be an attempt to create a metaphor for the war on terror.
It’s going to be interesting to see how successful the Tom Green-directed Dark Continent is as a follow up. Like I said, at least based on what we’ve seen so far, this takes the exact opposite approach of Monsters. Will things like characters and tension be skipped over in favor of action and big ass special effects? It does look like it could be a cool movie on its own, and you have to give them credit for not trying to do the exact same thing, but you still have to wonder.
For good or ill, Monsters: Dark Continent opens in the U.K. on November 28, though there is currently no U.S. distribution in place.