Gareth Edwards’ 2010 film “Monsters” was the sort of sci-fi film you don’t see every day, and the critical reaction was appropriately positive. While many focused on the fact that Edwards was able to not break the bank creating fully realized worlds and creatures literally on his own computer, the film was also a pretty engaging story, featuring a standout performance by actor Scoot McNairy. Edwards has since moved on too MUCH bigger fare with the Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures-produced “Godzilla” reboot, but he’s also carved out time to get another smaller independent film that’s akin to a “robot 'Star Wars' ” titled “Forever.” However, interest in his debut “Monsters” still resides, with news first hitting around the middle of 2011 that a sequel was in the works, and an announcement arriving earlier this month that the newly coined "Monsters: The Dark Continent" would be heading our way soon.
With “Misfits” filmmaker Tom Green taking over for Edwards – apparently replacing the first announced duo of short directors Brent Bonacarso and Jesse Atlas – and “Fast Girls” screenwriter Jay Basu penning the movie, we're now getting a better idea of what's in story thanks to a synopsis that’s just hitting the web. While the first film followed two Americans trying to travel across an area of Central America devastated by imposing alien creatures, the rundown for 'The Dark Continent' suggests a grander scale. Here it is:
Seven years on from the events of Monsters, and the ‘Infected Zones’ have spread worldwide. Humans have been knocked off the top of the food chain, with disparate communities struggling for survival. American soldiers are being sent abroad to protect US interests from the Monsters, but the war is far from being won. Noah, a haunted soldier with several tours under his belt, is sent on a mission: an American soldier has gone rogue deep in the Infected Zone, and Noah must reach him and take him out. But when Noah’s unit and transport are destroyed, he finds himself with only a young and inexperienced cadet for company – the brother of the man Noah has been sent to kill. The two soldiers must go on a life-altering journey through the dark heart of monster territory, accompanied by a young local woman to guide them. By the time the three of them reach their goal, they will have been forced to confront the fear that the true monsters on the planet may not be alien after all.
Looks like Basu has been reading some of Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” lately or maybe he just popped in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” – and decided it would have been more entertaining with monsters mixed in. We’re not complaining, if this sequel can deliver the goods like the first film did on a slightly larger scale, we’re certainly up for the ride. Especially if this indeed a more psychological, “Hearts of Darkness”-like take on the material, and they aren’t sacrificing the more thoughtful approach of the first film in favor of blowing up aliens (we already have an unwanted “Starship Troopers” remake for that). There’s still no start date on this one, but it’s nice to see that producer Vertigo Films aren’t rushing to cash in on the flim's cachet, because this very easily could’ve been a cheapie straight-to-DVD feature. So we’ll remain cautiously optimistic as this unfolds. [Quiet Earth]