Written and directed by Australian Abe Forsythe Little Monsters blends Night of the Living Dead with Life is Beautiful to create a hilarious and heartfelt Zom-Com that will rip your heart out.
Alien: Covenant’s Alexander England plays Dave a disillusioned immature idiot whose relationship has recently ended due to his inability to truly commit. Moving in with his sister and her 5 year old son Felix (Diesel La Torraca) he spends his days laying around lamenting his lost life while playing first person zombie shooting games.
Attempting to instil some responsibility in her brother Dave gets tasked with taking his nephew to school where the meets Miss Caroline (Lupita Nyong’o from Us and Black Panther) the beloved teacher of Felix’s class who Dave instantly falls madly in love with.
Desperate to impress her he offers to chaperone on the upcoming class visit to Australia’s number one destination for under 10’s Pleasant Valley Farm and the gang head out unaware they are about to wandering into a whole world of horror. Located next to the child friendly farmyard and miniature gold course is a US Army Testing facility where a huge breach has taken place releasing a horde of the undead onto the unsuspecting public.
As the flesh hungry freaks flock to the children’s paradise Miss Caroline starts to notice all is not how it should be and in an attempt to save the children’s innocence and their lives she pretends that the whole horrific and sick situation is just a game. But as the carnage continues the adults realise they will need more than songs and a positive attitude to escape this zombie filled nightmare.
Although the plethora of putrid Zom-Com’s has slowed in recent years the genre is still a tricky one to tackle seeing that since Shaun of the Dead it has been filled with a downpour of dire cash in’s. Thankfully 2019 has already seen a small resurgence of resurrected rib ticklers with Eat Brains Love and Zombieland: Double Tap and Little Monsters prove there is plenty of life left if you inject originality.
Central to everything is the fact that Abe Forsythe has crafted a brilliant story blending horror, comedy, drama and romance into an irresistible and engaging film full of creative characters that you truly care about.
Potty mouthed and inappropriate Dave is a lovable looser, more concerned with masturbating, moaning and his failing Death Metal band than his family, who learns his lesson and thanks to the script and acting skills of Alexander England he has far more depth than you may first expect.
Extremely well known for his roles in Disney films Josh Gad is wonderfully well cast as Teddy McGiggle the kids TV sensation who just happens to be visiting the same farm as the school. With a ridiculous suit, annoying catch phrases and a frog puppet sidekick Teddy is the idol of millions of kids including the ones in Miss Caroline’s class however when faced with the zombie apocalypse the PG façade fades revealing a selfish arrogant asshole addicted to sex and drink, a role Gad gleefully embraces.
Best of all is the ukulele playing Miss Caroline perfectly played by Lupita Nyong’o who is quickly establishing herself as a horror icon. Embodying every dedicated, overworked and deeply passionate teacher out there her determination to do anything to shield the kids emotionally and physically is the most powerful part of the movie. Set against Gad’s grotesque kid’s celebrity she is the real hero who not only saves her young charges (all played by a great cast of child actors) but inspires Dave and the audience to be a better person.
Packed with great make up and effects the gore might not be as high in other Zom-Com’s but the horror is very real especially for any parents in the audience as the constant threat of something terrible happening to the delightful kiddie winks is every present.
Little Monsters runs the gamut of emotions having you cry with laughter one minute and weep with fear the next. Combining an amazing cast with a truly original concept it also shows how heartfelt horror can truly be, tearing into your feelings as powerfully as the zombies tear into living flesh.