Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan


(UK, 2010)

Reminds me a bit of Cloverfield, and a pretty good Korean film, Gwoemul (Monster), in that they hold off on showing the monsters for a while. You don’t get a good look at them until the end. It’s low-budget, less than a million dollars, but surprisingly effective with its SFX. You can do an SFX movie without spending a hundred big ones. It was shot entirely on location, sometimes without shooting permits, using people they found in the various Central American countries. The idea is that the Earth has been invaded by what look like giant land-dwelling octopi (okay, but they look pretty good) which seem to have been quarantined in Mexico. I say seem, because information is rationed out sparingly, and we never get the whole story. Our military is fighting them. A couple people get stranded down there, and must make their way back. (Why they can’t take an airplane that avoids flying over them is never explained.) This is all quite effective for a long time. There are some scenes of genuine tension. But in the end they didn’t really have a story. It just sort of peters out after they cross the border. It’s what happens just before that that really killed it for me. They find a Mayan temple deep in the rain forest, climb it … and look out onto a vast wall which must be along the Rio Grande, since that’s supposed to be America over there. Jeez, did no one ever actually visit the Mexican border? There are no Mayan temples within a thousand miles. It’s a hell of a long way to anything like a jungle. And the wall itself, oh lord, it is gigantic, it dwarfs the Great Wall of China, it looks as tall as a skyscraper and wide as the Mississippi, and it ain’t just an earthen berm ‘dozered up into a mound, it was meticulously built. Two thousand miles of wall like that, built in six years? Try six centuries. It’s an Arizona wet dream: “That ought to keep those fucking wetbacks from coming here and taking all those jobs nobody in the US will do!”