LITTLE MONSTERS / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: ABE FORSYTH / STARRING: LUPITA NYONG'O, ALEXANDER ENGLAND, JOSH GAD / RELEASE DATE: 10TH FEBRUARY
From her cantina-owning days as the delightful Maz Kanata in the latest Star Wars trilogy to her sharp work as Adelaide Wilson in the gripping horror smash hit, Us, Lupita Nyong'o has taken on a handful of impactful personalities in a very short space of time. So as her acting ascent continues to elevate even further, it should be no shock for movie addicts to see her right at the centre of this comical, zombie-packed ruckus.
Setting the stage in this Hulu original, with an almost jazz comfortable family-friendly soundtrack encasing it, we get to see Dave (Alexander England) go through an intense argument-filled relationship break-up. Resorting to live at his sister’s place while looking after his nephew Felix (Diesel La Torraca), he crosses path with his new crush, teacher Miss Caroline (Lupita Nyong'o).
As zombie mosh pits erupt on their school visit to Pleasant Valley Farm, director / writer Abe Forsythe doesn't make this the main draw as he injects a grounded story right into the heart of this chaotic picture. He paints Dave's transition from an unhealthily bad mannered and desperate attitude to the complete opposite. Alexander's acting work at the start is so strong that you want to shout "Hey, be a better human!" at the screen.
Those who have seen the aforementioned Us will know that actress Lupita Nyong'o is in her element in a situation like this. Putting on a kickass performance as Miss Caroline, she and her class ukulele through gory zombie dilemmas (what happens when a zombie tries to eat a hedgehog? Well, in Little Monsters you'll find out!). She also embarks on her own breakthrough while sharing a broken background with Dave. The chemistry between both actors is spot on, and it helps the film to positively spike, especially in gripping scenarios. Olaf (Frozen) fans might want to look away, because Teddy McGiggle (Josh Gad) is here to give a lunatic, bonkers performance that fully shows off his acting palette. With his selfish, comedic personality, he is a crucial addition.
The biggest downfall to this release is the simple fact that it doesn't have any special features. For a film that refuses to be genre pigeonholed, there surely would have been some cool behind the scenes footage or even interviews that fans could get stuck into besides scene selection and audio settings. Boasting two polar opposites as it constantly switches between ultra happy and ultra violent, this fantastic "flip what you think you know about zombie films on its head" brainstorm will make this hellish school day out strike a refreshing chord within a crowded genre.