Little Monsters

[3.5 stars]

While living through a pandemic, what more do you want than a comedy about one? Writer/director Abe Forsythe’s evil little dark comedy is a wonderful distraction from both reality and the deluge of zombie flicks that continue to arrive. Each of those movies has their own charm, from the dry The Dead Don’t Die, to the musical Anna and the Apocalypse, to the millenial Zombieland, but even with movies more similar, like Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, this movie has chops and reasons worth watching it for.

Primarily, it has a couple truly serious sets of chops in the cast. The first is Lupita Nyong’o (Us). She brings a strength and commitment to the tale like the incredible actor that she is. She swings from kindergarten teacher to shovel wielding dervish on a dime, and does it often while providing a smile or a song. And if you ever wanted to see Olaf get down and dirty, Josh Gad, (A Dog’s Purpose) as a churlish and trash-talking children’s performer, is the ticket.

In truth, Alexander England (Alien: Covenant) is actually the lead in this movie. And he’s fine. Brash and childish, but with a good heart and the ability to change. But he’s completely overshadowed by Nyong’o when they’re on screen. And that’s OK. He makes a great straight-man to her foil.

But beyond the cast, the story, though slow to set foundation, has a wicked sense of humor and solid control of its moments. It is laugh-out-loud funny, but with enough over-the-top splatter (a la Shaun of the Dead) to meet everyone’s needs. Well most people’s anyways. There are certainly some gaps and gaffs, but it beautifully skewers the genre, even while making a movie that’s comfortably part of the fold.

So, for some escapist dark comedy with blood and music, find this one and make an evening of it. I had a riot with it.

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