Abe Forsythe (director)
15 November 2019 (released)
12 November 2019
It’s been said before and will be said again: there’s not much that hasn’t been done with the zombie formula. However, it’s not in any way redundant as we have seen with the likes of One Cut of The Dead. A little imagination can go a long, long way. Little Monsters doesn’t quite turn things on their head the way One Cut did, it just massages the tropes a bit.
Dave (Alexander England) is one of life’s losers; a failed heavy metal hero, a slob and as coarse as they come, he’s not exactly free of blame, and probably shouldn’t have been too surprised when he caught his girlfriend being unfaithful.
He ends up at his sister’s place and her 5-year-old, Felix. Part of the deal is taking Felix (Diesel La Torraca) to school where he meets and is very much taken by kindergarten teacher Audrey Caroline (Lupita Nyong’o). Failing to achieve any sort of rapport he rashly agrees to help chaperone the children on a class trip.
Meantime an experiment has gone wrong allowing zombies to escape from a military installation and into the surrounding area that just happens to be where the class trip has gone. The children are blissfully unaware of the chaos starting around them as the adults start to lose it big time and try to protect them and themselves.
It’s a fast-moving gross out comedy that balances that blood and guts with sensitivities towards the children. Lupita Nyong’o is a delight as she shields to children from the mayhem while unleashing merry hell on those who try to harm them. The fun here isn’t in the zombies as they what they generally do in other zombie films. It’s with the characters that the film hits home.
Josh Gad plays (with some relish) a very famous children’s entertainer Teddy McGiggle who when the blood starts to fly, the best that can be said is that he can’t relied upon to help anyone other than himself. The comedy is on the coarse side and does feel like familiar ground though who will care if it’s funny, and it is.
The film keeps to a steady rhythm as writer and director Abe Forsyth tosses out the lines and some grotesque sight gags. It’s well within the horror genre with plenty blood and violence and at the same time shouldn’t put off the more casual punter, though they may wince, once or twice.