Love and Monsters is a 2020 American science-fiction feature film directed by Michael Matthews (Five Fingers for Marseilles) from a screenplay written by Matthew Robinson (Monster Trucks storyline), based on an earlier draft by Brian Duffield (The Babysitter). The Paramount Players’ movie was produced by Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps company (Stranger Things). The movie was formerly known as Monster Problems
The movie is “a coming of age story about a young man living in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by monsters.”
Seven years after the Monsterpocalypse, Joel Dawson (Dylan O’Brien) along with the rest of humanity has been living underground ever since giant creatures took control of the land.
After reconnecting over the radio with his high school girlfriend Aimee (Jessica Henwick), he realises that there’s nothing left for him underground, so decides against all logic to venture out to Aimee, despite all the dangerous monsters that stand in his way…
” …kind of a shame that Clyde and Minnow factor into things as little as they do. Rooker and Greenblatt make an appealing odd couple […] Even with those minor issues, Love and Monsters delivers a lot of pure entertainment, thanks to O’Brien’s appealing performance, several cool action sequences, a sharp sense of humor, and those gloriously massive creatures.” The Aisle Seat
“Thankfully, the first half of the effort does a successful job managing tonal changes and visualizing threat, with director Michael Matthews getting the adventure up on its feet with personality and lively enemy attacks, offing just enough enthusiasm to sustain the viewing experience.” Blu-ray.com
“The little we know of the world is engaging, and though the third act turn may be expected, it’s well-executed. There’s an extraordinary amount of competence here, pointing to Matthews’ skill as a director and the script’s ability to do the groundwork. He has also cast the film well, with the likes of Rooker hired to do exactly what you would expect of him…” Bullz Eye
” …Love and Monsters loses its steam here and there, falling into sentimentality, and the third act isn’t that satisfying, but it’s an enjoyable romp that balances exciting action with moving moments, and benefits from the energetic turn of O’Brien, whose bond with Boy the dog is the heart of the movie, whilst Greenblatt delivers the most laughs.” CineMarvellous!
“This is O’Brien’s show and he absolutely kills it as the charming, funny, nervous, and unprepared Joel. It’s also an emotional performance for the actor, as his character is taken on a journey that makes him revisit loss and helps him to overcome fear and grief […] Through these themes, Matthews and co-writer Brian Duffield pen not just a monster movie, but one that’s a blast to watch and with a lot of heart.” Daily Dead
” …it includes a much-needed optimism in the face of total horror and a message of collectivism as the champion of humanity, not selfish individualism. This is a notion made concrete through the use of King’s “Stand by Me,” a ballad which is just as much a love song denoting familial love, romantic love, and self-love.” Elements of Madness
“With a finale that even manages to make you think of the wonderful Clash of the Titans, consistently impressive special effects throughout, a surprisingly positive approach to living in a post-apocalyptic world, and the potential for at least one solid sequel, Love and Monsters is well worth your time.” For It Is Man’s Number
” …this film also does the hardest and most important thing that a monster movie absolutely must do: it balances the humans and the monsters in a perfect way. Yes, it has great monsters, but it never devolves into mindless action with no narrative purpose. On the flip side, while the film does have great human characters, it never lingers on them for so long that you get bored…” Horror Obsessive
” …while it might be legally accurate to say that Love and Monsters isn’t based on pre-existing material, it couldn’t be more obvious that it was conceived by someone who saw Zombieland on TV one night and thought to themselves: “I could do it better. And with bugs.” Lucky for us, they were right — or at least right enough that it’s a blast to watch them try.” IndieWire
“Perhaps its most endearing quality – beyond O’Brien’s Joel and his relationship with the dog Boy – is that it delivers realistic-looking monsters, using a mix of practical effects and CGI, that harkens back to monster movies of the 80s. Ultimately, Love and Monsters attempts but doesn’t quite succeed in delivering the quirky, irreverent and one-of-a-kind apocalypse comedy-adventure it clearly wants to be.” ScreenRant
“Brian Duffield and Matthew Robinson’s screenplay was apparently written on spec, but the familiar story feels like it was based on pre-existing material. That’s largely due to Matthews’ unapologetic, affectionate appropriation of other films from the post-apocalyptic and coming-of-age genres, the sum total of which represent a kind of smorgasbord of what Love and Monsters is going for…” Variety
Love and Monsters was released on PVOD by Paramount on October 16th 2020. It has since been streamed on Netflix.