The sweet and strange Love and Monsters surprises audiences

This story was originally published in the third edition of The Lion’s Tale (December 9, 2020).

Love and Monsters is a PG-13 movie that came out mid-October with a very interesting plot. Civilization has crumbled and over half the population has been wiped out by huge, mutated lizards, frogs, snakes, etc., which caused the remaining people who stayed alive to hide underground in bunkers. 

The main character, Joel Dawson – played by Dylan O’ Brien – finally contacts his girlfriend Aimee in which they had not seen each other as the ‘Monsterpocalypse’ began. He finds her using a radio and figures out she is eight miles away from him, so he leaves his bunker to go venture off to find her. The thing is Joel is not the athletic main character who can fight off every monster by himself and have a happily ever after ending with Aimee. He is a nerd who is very clumsy, so that is great for him. 

As Joel is off on his journey, while he is being attacked by a huge, mutated frog, two people, a young girl – Minnow played by Ariana Greenblatt – and an older man – Clyde played by Michael Rooker – save him, which causes those three to keep venturing upper ground with each other. However, the key player finds a dog, whose name is Boy. I personally think Boy is a very important character in the story, even as a dog because if you think about it, how did a dog survive years on its own in an apocalypse? Going back to the movie, if Boy was not there, the plot would not have been as intense as it was. Joel not only has himself to worry about, but the dog as well. Love and Monsters to me was not so much a fighting/action genre movie as it was to show character growth. 

At the beginning, as said, Joel was not strong or independent enough to handle these monsters himself and could not think quickly on his feet to figure out plans. However, towards the end, he would figure out clever ways to defeat these giants. For example, while he was fighting one, he would dodge all sorts of attacks and use creative tactics in order to outsmart the beast. So, as he was fighting this giant, he ran over to an explosive as the giant was following him, threw it in its mouth, and jumped in the water to not get hit by the impact. Which I think is impressive for someone like Joel. 

Although the story may be predictable to some, the themes remain prominent and powerful through the film, intermixed with great acting and a grossly detailed world rich with character and radiation. Not following the common tropes of dystopian movies while also surprising audiences with the amount of comedic fun poured into every scene, Love and Monsters is a good way to spend a night with loved ones as we all handle our own apocalypse.