Love And Monsters was announced by Paramount Pictures in June 2012 when the movie was originally titled Monster Problems.
The movie was originally slated to release on March 6th, 2020, but in October 2019 the movie was pushed back to April 17th, 2020. In February 2020, Love And Monsters was pushed back again to February 12, 2021. Then in August 2020, Paramount Pictures announced they were canceling the movie's theatrical release and decided to release the movie on video-on-demand on October 16th, 2020.
In a monster–infested world, Joel Dawson learns his girlfriend is just 80 miles away. To make the dangerous journey, Joel discovers his inner hero to be with the girl of his dreams.
When I first watched the trailer for Love And Monsters, my thoughts were that it was going to be a generic teen movie. I expected the movie to start with the cliché where the movie's climax begins and have the main character narrate beginning with a "You're probably wondering how I got here" moment and then rewind time before the climax. So when it was time to sit down to watch the movie I watched this with low expectations. That did help make the movie more watchable, but it also wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Yet, it was still pretty boring.
The movie's story is an underdog story about Joel Dawson (played by Dylan O'Brien), whom has been stuck in a bunker with a small colony for seven years and is treated like the runt of the colony. Someone that the colony sees needing to be protected most since he can't really do anything other than be a chef because he only knows how to make one certain dish. After years of getting in touch with his long lost girlfriend, Aimee (played by Jessica Henwick), over the radio a giant ant breaches into the bunker. He tries to prove himself to the rest of the colony that he can protect himself and wound up failing. This lead to him deciding to head out on a journey to head to Aimee's colony. I like the idea of the movie's story being about an underdog. It is a type of character that people can easily relate to and cheer for. However, Joel's motivation to go on this journey could have been better. If it was Aimee's colony that got breached then that would be a better excuse for Joel to travel 80 miles through a hostile environment. However, Joel goes on this journey because he wants to prove that he can take care of himself and he had to learn how to survive in this hostile environment after being saved by Clyde (played by Michael Rooker) and Minnow (played by Ariana Greenblatt) from the small, worm-like monsters called Sand Goblins.
Basically the movie tried to be like Zombieland. The difference between Love And Monsters and Zombieland is that Zombieland had a small and better cast that stuck together as a group the whole movie. Love And Monsters, on the other hand, had a small cast that didn't stay together the whole movie. Not even Michael Rooker and Ariana Greenblatt stay through out the whole movie. I find it kind of disappointing since they were featured in the poster and I did expect Michael Rooker to actually stick around the whole movie.
While the movie had a few intense moments, they're not really intense like you don't know what's going to happen. There is nothing that would come as a shock. When something intense happens, I would know that Joel and the few people he is close with will make it out of those situations somehow. There were a couple of scenes that had me chuckle, but nothing worth noting nor remembering. All of this made the movie seem boring for the most part. The only part that wasn't as boring was the climax where Joel and Aimee tag team to fight off the pirates and the giant crab at the same time. I won't spoil what happens, but let's just say what happens after the fight the pirates deserved what was coming to them.
One of the interesting aspects of the film are the lessons or rules that Joel learns from Clyde and Minnow while on his journey. Rules such as "Always keep your socks dry", "Don't take shortcuts", "Target practice everyday", or "Either rest or eat, not both" since the group only has an hour before a monster picks up their scent. Also, one of Joel's quirks is he draws and documents each new monster he encounters in his journal. Jotting down their abilities, weaknesses, and whether the monster he encountered is hostile or benevolent.
The monsters themselves are sort of a mixed bag. There are some that have cool designs like the Boulder Snail, the giant crab, and the giant earthworm where designs for other monsters like the giant ant or the giant centipede look generic. The problem is that the more interesting monster designs are the ones we only see glimpses of in Joel's journal and when I see those monsters in the journal compared to the ones we see Joel encounter it makes me want to see more of the monsters in the journal more than what the movie actually shows. However, I do notice that his drawings do over-exaggerate details with some of the monsters. For example, the giant frog had a few eyes that on its head, but in his drawing Joel made the giant frog look like a giant blob with dozens of eyes all over and sharp teeth. Even the Chumbler, which is shown to be a giant beetle of some sort, is shown in Joel's drawings to have armor-like plates and spikes that go from the head down to the back. Yet, you don't see any of those features in the scene showing the Chumbler chasing the group. So I have to believe that some characteristics in Joel's drawings are over-exaggerated. Despite the over-exaggeration, the journal monsters look more terrifying than the monsters in the movie making me wish I have seen those monsters in the movie.
Love And Monsters is not as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I was still bored at some parts when nothing is going on. The monsters themselves are sort of a mix bag ranging from sort of interesting to bland and boring compared to the monsters in Joel's journal, which looks more terrifying even if they are over-exaggerated. It is a movie that I think is only good if there is nothing else to watch.