Monsters: Dar k Continent
The trailer’s big on beasts and blasts but director Tom Green assures Stephen Kelly that he’s made a Monsters sequel with a message
It’s not a sequel. Director Tom Green tells us why.
Four years ago, director Gareth Edwards would unwittingly audition for the job of rebooting Godzilla with
Monsters: a low- budget film that followed a young man and woman through Mexico’s “Infected Zone”, an area where a crashed NASA probe has helped spawn huge tentacled creatures. As anyone who’s seen Edwards’s debut knows, Monsters wasn’t really about monsters at all. It was an otherworldly, almost tranquil study of character and relationships, and the fear of monsters both internal and real. Made on a shoestring budget of $ 500,000 with a six- strong crew and extras mostly made up of whoever was on location, it earned critical acclaim and $ 4.2m. And now it’s time for Monsters: Dark Continent – the sequel that isn’t really a sequel at all.
Gareth Edwards remains as executive producer but has passed directorial duties to
Misfits’ Tom Green, who, like Edwards circa 2010, is making his full- length debut. And then there’s the film itself. In the trailer released earlier this year, featuring a spoken- word poem about “giant sand bugs”, it was revealed that the setting had shifted to the Middle East and, rather than relationship drama, focused heavily on explosions and large- scale monster attacks. Reactions were, naturally, mixed. Had the filmmakers used the first film’s indie
cred platform to shovel out just another monster movie?
“No one’s trying to coin it in from the first one, it really isn’t about that at all,” says Green, who has also co- written the script with Jay Basu. “It’s not ‘ let’s just make a shoot- em- up version of the first’. It’s about the conversations the first one started. I think, from the trailer, it looks very much like an action movie and I’m not sure that’s completely representative of the film that’s being made. I think what people can expect is a completely different film from the first one but one that’s very much part of the legacy. It’s contemplative and has slightly quieter moments – like Gareth’s film does. It’s a character film. It’s going to get seen as a sequel but it isn’t, really. It’s only a sequel in terms of ethos, to have that human story against a science fiction backdrop.”
That human story is told through two soldiers: eight tour veteran Noah ( Welcome To
The Punch’s Johnny Harris) and young rookie Frankie, Game Of Thrones’ Joe Dempsie. It’s set ten years after the events of Monsters and the Infected Zones have spread across the world – including to the Middle East, where the pair must not only deal with the creatures, but a new wave of insurgencies. Like the first film, Monsters: Dark Continent will follow the