A film about zombies – that’s different, a slacker, loser, who finds redemption through new love – that’s different….or is it?


Director: Abe Forsythe

Writer: Abe Forsythe

Featuring: Lupita Nyong’o, Alexander England, Josh Gadd, Diesel La Torraca, Kat Stewart, Nadia Townsend

Dave and his girlfriend Sara split after years of a tumultuous relationship resulting in Dave moving in with his sister and his nephew Felix. In an attempt to reconnect with Felix to help with his sister, or be thrown out, he takes Felix to school and there meets the beautiful and lovely Miss Caroline. Trying to impress her he volunteers for the school trip to the local animal/fun park. Unfortunately, the park is located next to a US military base where some dubious and dangerous experimental work takes place. Soon a security breach means Dave must step up and take some responsibility or things are not going to end well….

Dave played with quirky exuberance by Alexander England, is writ so large that I found it annoying. It seemed to be on the video-game story telling level where we have to know he is a slacker, useless, arsehole but it signposted for idiots, to such a point the he becomes repugnant and we, or at least I, found it hard to sympathise with him when he got his inevitable redemption. All he needed to do was kill a cute dog and wear a baseball cap with ‘I’m An Arsehole’ printed on the front and we were all set. In this case I felt the writer and director could have dialled it down from 11. The arguments in public between him and his responsible and good-looking and clearly very patient girlfriend are too many and actually horrible and embarrassing, I have to ask, which I’m sure many audiences do, how do these complete and utter wastrels get such professional, clever and clearly lovely ladies? It has never made sense. Dave looked, behaved and dressed like someone one step up from homeless, behaved like a trainee sex-offender at times and yet despite many sweary and aggressively loud arguments in public places, even at her work, Dave doesn’t have a proper job of course, they’ve been together for ages. Come on scriptwriters, filmmakers and all the rest, I do not believe we are that stupid.

This then caused me issues with his redemption, Lupita Nyong’o could clearly rehabilitate Satan with just her looks but nevertheless it again starts stretching credibility, even in zombie-comedy, that he becomes completely the opposite to his previous character just by seeing and interacting with the lovely ‘Miss Caroline’ bearing in mind all he wanted to do was ‘bang her’ from the beginning.

The motivation for all of this is his father left his family to start another one, his mother could not cope and had a mental breakdown, and this drove him to be the way he was. Funnily enough that is exactly what happened to my wife. Guess what? She is great.

All of this sounds like an attack on Little Monsters but in fact the film was far more entertaining and fun than any mainstream review made out. It stands to reason if you see a film that says it is about a zombie attack at a child’s fun park and it is a comedy you must have some idea of what is ahead. The zombies are fairly gory and horrific, the kids are actually fun and not as annoying as some children in films can be with film-star named Diesel La Torraca putting in just the right performance. By this I mean you did not want to feed him to the zombies during the run time. The main cast which is basically Lupita Nyong’o, Alexander England and Josh Gadd are all fine.

Josh Gadd, recently seen in Avenue 5, and here playing a repulsive famous TV child entertainer, Teddy McGiggles, works well within the narrow role he had been given but I could not help feeling he was shoe-horned into what is basically a three-hander for the majority of the film so that Dave could move on to redemption and the audience still had a very bad person to dislike and who ends up with his just desserts. Once again all sign-posted with a sledgehammer, and none of the kids were going to get ripped to shreds, otherwise we are talking about Romero here and not Edgar Wright.

The set pieces were fun and also gave some sense of peril and thus enjoyable and there were some good one-liners that referenced well-known zombie tropes. The acting was at a great level, Lupita is a lovely and beautiful screen presence and easily the most believable character in the story, and all these things made just enough of a mix to make Little Monsters an enjoyable viewing, I’m not sure I’d come back to it again but whilst I watched I was entertained and had fun, even if it seemed all a bit reanimated from other films.

The very ending of the film is surprisingly upbeat and fun and for once does not paint the US military with an entirely ‘bad’ brush either for a moral lesson or laughs. A nice change there.

All in all, depending on your mood Little Monsters could easily be fun but be warned if you have seen comedies, in particular romantic comedies, they you will definitely have seen this many times before. If you liked Shaun of the Dead this film is indeed ‘Little’ compared to it and does not reach the standard of those ‘Monsters’ which is the biggest problem, it is the same story, just not made as well.

I have to be honest, I could easily stare at a photo of Lupita for 90 minutes or so and be quite happy but, I hasten to add, not in the way Dave does in this film.

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