You’ll be watching Love and Monsters mentally ticking off a list of movies it’s brazenly but cheerfully borrowing from. A bit of A Quiet Place here, a touch of Tremors there, not to mention a tone keen to evoke the snappy humour of Zombieland alongside visuals sometimes reminiscent of Ray Harryhausen all wrapped around a YA narrative that actually manages to appear fresh and almost life-affirming even as it cheekily appropriates the best of a number of genre favourites.
A deadly asteroid hurtles towards the Earth. A phalanx of nuclear missiles blow it up but the toxic material falling back onto the planet’s surface has an unfortunate effect on cold-blooded life-forms, leading to the arrival of armies of giant frogs, snails, crabs and assorted slimy icky things which wipe out most of the human population and force survivors to live in underground colonies. Seven years later and our hero Joel (Dylan O’Brien of Maze Runner infamy), establishes radio contact with his girlfriend Aimee (Jessica Henwick), separated him from him at of the end of the world and now ensconced in a colony 85 miles away. With all around him in his colony paired up, Joel decides to make the perilous trek across hostile country to reach Aimee, encountering fellow survivors (including Michael Rooker’s grizzled Clyde) and horrible mutated monstrosities. Can he reach Aimee and her colony…and will he receive a warm welcome if he does?
Love and Monsters (no relation to the much-misunderstood 2006 Doctor Who episode) is terrific fun, a creature feature bursting with heart and optimism and no end of superb special effects, delivering a joyously upbeat adventure story that reminds us in difficult times that even when things look bleak beyond imagining, there’s always hope for a better and brighter tomorrow.