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EXCLUSIVE MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews Little Monsters

August 24th, 2019 by John Wright Comments

Little Monsters (15)
Directed by: Abe Forsythe
Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Josh Gad & Stephen Peacocke
Running time: 1hr 34mins 

A washed-up musician teams up with a teacher and a kids show personality to protect young children from a sudden outbreak of zombies.

Little Monsters is the second movie from Abe Forsythe, an Australian horror rom-com that could easily be set in the world of Shaun of the Dead.

The story follows Dave (Alexander England – Alien Covenant, Gods of Egypt), a failed musician and man-child, now separated and living with his older sister and her young son Felix, brilliantly played by Diesel La Torraca, which is quite possibly the coolest name ever.

After taking a liking to Felix’ schoolteacher Miss Caroline (Lupita Nyong’o – Us, Black Panther, Star Wars VII-IX) Dave volunteers to help with their class field trip to a petting zoo theme park, coincidentally being used for filming by an internationally loved kids TV star Teddy McGiggle (Josh Gad – Frozen, Beauty and the Beast).

From there, things take a drastic turn sideways thanks to a zombie outbreak from a military base next door and it soon becomes a fight for survival for the last remaining adults to protect the kids from becoming zombie snacks.

Australian movies, especially comedies, tend not to lend themselves to an international audience that well, but Abe Forsythe has managed to push back the niche brand of Aussie humour and make this a movie that can truly be enjoyed worldwide and breathe some new life into the zombie genre with a unique tale, that still borrows very familiar elements from the zombie greats, such as swapping the shopping mall for the petting zoo theme park.

The balance of horror and comedy is well done, mixing gory gags and clever dialogue with some genuine moments. Some moments fall flat in pacing, and some Edgar Wright touches would really make the flick shine. The finale is predictable, but with some unexpectably brilliant touches that add something new to the typical zombie ‘monster’.

Where the movie really excels though is the cast. Lupita Nyong’o commands the screen with a drastically different character to her incredible performance in Us, her schoolteacher is one that is instantly identifiable, genuinely loving to the kids in her care but a total professional.

She has the perfect mix of Mary Poppins and Ellen Ripley that fits this bizarre, but engaging movie. Alexander England is well cast as an immature, giant of a man against the demure schoolteacher and tiny kids, yet his character is probably the most innocent of the lot, despite being a little too dumb to believe. Josh Gad steals every scene he is in as the sleazy kids celebrity, with a creepy laugh that would make Pennywise shudder, however the kids are just as much the stars, comfortable on camera and genuinely hilarious and behaving like real kids would.

This is not a movie to watch with kids (some nudity, lots of gore and even more swearing), but parents will especially get a kick out of this fun, low-budget movie that will no doubt become a cult classic in the genre.

3 out of 5 Nerds

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Originally forged in the steelworks of Teesside (imagine the reverse of the end of Terminator 2), John is a self-confessed 80s child and movie geek and he indulges his passions for movies by occasionally appearing in them. When he is not doing that, he is investigating the paranormal with either his West Midlands or Berkshire buddies, or planning another Due South fan convention in Canada. John will depart our UK shores in 2014 to live in Australia and wrestle crocs (the shoes, not the animal), but he aims to contribute to FTN as much as he can...