‘Love and Monsters’ is superb

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The big screen is alive and well on the small screen with “Love and Monsters”, a delightful new movie with Hollywood-level digital effects. It’s available now on video-on-demand, but might also be coming to local movie theaters now that they can open again.

Another film waylaid by the pandemic, “Love and Monsters” has all the makings of a real, quality film we could have enjoyed in an actual theater were the world normal. The writing is superb, the acting is good across the board and the digital effects on the titular monsters are as good as we have come to expect from modern films.

“Love and Monsters” is a real movie delivered right to our homes, and it is a lot of fun.

Earth has been overrun by giant, mutant monsters, forcing the survivors of humanity into underground bunkers — including the hapless, 20-something Joel. After finding out that the girl he loved as a teenager is still alive and in a neighboring bunker, Joel sets out for the surface to make the perilous trek to find her and hopefully rekindle some happiness in this monster-filled world.

“Love and Monsters” is for monster movies what “Zombieland” was for zombie movies back in the day. It’s a light-hearted, comedic take on your typical monster movie, with just enough of a serious bent on the monsters that it’s not all farce. The monsters — in this case, mutated bugs, frogs and other cold-blooded creatures — are truly vicious and terrifying.

Somebody in digital effects clearly had a lot of fun designing these putrid, insectoid monstrosities. The danger is real. As are the humor and heart.

Actor Dylan O’Brien carries nearly the entire film as Joel, the lovestruck puppy dog of a young man who thinks he can handle a surface world full of monsters. His journey from young coward to brave hero is fun to watch, making for a more rewarding film. Jessica Henwick plays his old girlfriend, Aimee, and she’s just as fun when she finally arrives about midway through the movie. And character actor Michael Rooker makes the most out of his guest star of a role as the weathered traveler Clyde.

“Love and Monsters” is good all around. It works as a monster movie. It works as a comedy. It works as a character adventure. And it definitely works to ease those movie theater blues.

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