Monsters: The Dark Continent (2014) Horror Movie Review


“Monsters: The Dark Continent,” a sequel to the 2010 film “Monsters,” attempts to expand upon its predecessor’s universe by shifting the focus from intimate storytelling to a broader war narrative set in the Middle East. Directed by Tom Green, this film intertwines the lives of American soldiers with the alien creatures that now inhabit the Earth.

The film opens with a promise of exploring the consequences of cohabitation between humans and extraterrestrials, a premise that initially offers a wealth of narrative potential. However, as the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that the monsters are relegated to the backdrop of a war drama that is all too familiar. The creatures, which should be central to the plot, are instead peripheral, occasionally wandering into scenes but having little impact on the overarching narrative.

The human element of the story focuses on the soldiers, particularly on their mission to rescue comrades in a hostile territory. The performances are committed, with actors like Johnny Harris and Sam Keeley delivering intense portrayals of men grappling with the horrors of war. Yet, despite their efforts, the characters struggle to rise above the clichés of the genre.

Critics have noted that the film lacks the fresh approach and thought-provoking subtext of its predecessor, settling instead for tired war movie clichés. The consensus suggests that the film misses an opportunity to delve deeper into the implications of its sci-fi elements, instead offering a narrative that could easily exist without the inclusion of its titular monsters.

Visually, the film does not disappoint. The special effects are commendable, with the design of the monsters providing some of the more memorable moments. However, these instances are fleeting and ultimately feel disconnected from the story’s core.

“Monsters: The Dark Continent” is a film that struggles with its identity. It is caught between being a sequel to a well-received sci-fi film and a standalone war drama. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fully succeed as either. The film’s attempt to comment on the nature of war and the monsters within us all is overshadowed by a lack of focus and originality.

In the Nutshell

“Monsters: The Dark Continent” may offer some visual thrills and solid performances, but it falls short of the expectations set by its innovative predecessor. It is a sequel that, while ambitious, fails to capitalize on the unique premise it inherits, leaving audiences with a sense of what could have been rather than what is. [2 out of 5 stars]

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Genre: Monster/Creature

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