If you give me just 2 seconds I’m going to blow your mind. Love and Monsters is going to be your favorite movie of 2020. There I said it. Admittedly, it’s not mine. But it will be yours. That’s because it’s TIED for my favorite movie of the year with Spontaneous. Which, I realize it cheating, but there are no rules around here.
First a bit about Michael Matthews…
I have no idea how old Michael Matthews is, but what I’m coming to find is that by the time you’re making great movies in Hollywood, you’re more than likely just-about my age. I pressure test this by dropping breadcrumbs for them to disclose their favorite movies. If they say something like, The Machinist, I’m thinking “hmmm good taste, but favorite?”… if they something like (500 Days of Summer), again I’m thinking “Cute, but you’re wrong” and if they say Inception, I just assume they’re 15 years old and know nothing of cinema and I hang up on them. Or they’re Rob.
But let me tell you what happened, I dropped my breadcrumb. Matthews throws out Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones and that’s when I knew. We were going to be best friends forever (don’t tell him, he doesn’t know yet) and that he’s probably 37-ish.
Michael Matthews is a South African director whose feature Five Fingers for Marseilles, won the award for best film at the Africa Movie Academy Awards. His film also received 10 nominations, including awards for best film, best first feature film by a director and best cinematography. The film was also nominated for Best Achievement in Directing – Feature Film at 2017 South African Film and Television Awards. For his role in the production of Apocalypse Now Now, a short film based on the book of same name, Matthews won best short film at the 12th South African Film and Television Awards.
We’ll get into the movie in a sec, but Love and Monsters is a massively well-crafted movie. However, to hear Matthews talk about the movie, it would seem that it’s something we could all do. Just a few drawings here and a few ideas there and POOF… you’ve got yourself a blockbuster. I of course know this to not be true, as it takes me 45 minutes to put together a 30 second video for social media.
Matthew really was a treat to talk to so we hope you enjoy hearing about the making of Love and Monsters as much as we did!
Now Love and Monsters
I’ve already told you that it’s going to be your favorite movie of this year, so that’s probably a bit of a spoiler. And don’t go being one of those contrarian people (like me) who says they don’t love it just because I told you, you would.
Seven years after the Monsterpocalypse, Joel Dawson (Dylan O’Brien), along with the rest of humanity, has been living underground ever since giant creatures took control of the land. After reconnecting over radio with his high school girlfriend Aimee (Jessica Henwick), who is now 80 miles away at a coastal colony, Joel begins to fall for her again. As Joel realizes that there’s nothing left for him underground, he decides against all logic to venture out to Aimee, despite the dangerous monsters that stand in his way.
Now onto the monsters. A movie can be made or broken on the quality of its monsters. Matthew says they’re not meant to be fantastical. But sorry, they’re fantastical. They’re glowing and beautiful and edgy and scary. To hear Matthew talk about how the conceptualized these beasts is something you can really feel in the film.
The other real highlight is the casting of Dylan O’Brien, as somebody you probably know from his tough-as-nails character in Maze Runner, seeing him as this tender, insecure guy who is trying to find himself is a mental shift. Paired with the hilarious script and O’Brien’s comedic timing, we were laughing the whole way through. Supported by, Ariana Greenblatt, Michael Rooker and Jessica Henwick, the cast felt entirely complete.
Let this trailer wash over your face…
Prefer video? Check out our video interview.
For more thoughts, check out Tim’s full review of Love and Monsters.
Love and Monsters is available on streaming October 16th and we can’t recommend seeing it enough!