When the low budget film Monsters came out in in 2010 it was hailed as a masterpiece and set up director Gareth Edwards for a crack at another ‘monster’ movie with Godzilla.
As anyone who saw Monsters will agree, it was a road movie and love story set against a background of aliens roaming across Mexico, not a strict sci-fi film.
Monsters: Dark Continent is the same. Again it doesn’t fit into the sci-fi genre.
It’s a tough and gritty look at how world powers can create mayhem in their pursuit for natural resources, with aliens as a backdrop.
The start is a little like The Deer Hunter as we see a group of friends enjoying their final moments before going off to the Middle East.
This is ten years after the original and the aliens, who arrived on a back of a space probe, have spread worldwide and are now threatening the oilfields.
The US airforce is bombing the daylights out of these enormous monsters but there is a lot of collateral damage with civilians dying and, not surprisingly, a lot of unrest among the locals.
In this violent atmosphere the friends and and their commanding officer discover that humans are far more terrifying than aliens.
Brit Johnny Harris sports a decent American accent and revels in the role of the officer attempting to keep his charges safe and sound in a hostile environment.
It’s not an unfamiliar part for Harris who is good at these intense characters.
In fact several of the American soldiers are played by Brits, including Sam Keeley (Irish) who plays a soldier completely out of his depth in a sea of horror scenarios.
As in the first film the aliens help throw up the question of just who are the monsters?
It’s not easy viewing and I felt it did go on a bit too long.
But it certainly packs a punch and is a solid directorial debut for Tom Green.
Film details: Monsters: Dark Continent (15) 119ins
Director: Tom Green
Starring: Johnny Harris, Sam Keeley, Joe Dempsie
MONSTERS: DARK CONTINENT is available on DVD, Blu-ray & Steelbook on 31st August