Those attending the Edinburgh Film Festival’s Frightfest programme got the chance to take in Gareth’s Edwards Monsters and with a good deal of hype buffeting this one I’m pleased to say that it’s an entertaining science fiction film that manages to do so much special effects on the low budget that the film received.

While I really liked the film it wasn’t the most original film involving aliens, especially since it heavily borrows elements from previous films such as Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield and Neill Blomkamp’s District 9.

The story opens up with a night-vision camera capturing footage of army soldiers shooting at a giant creature with explanatory text saying that a spacecraft has crashed into South America carrying an alien life form. It’s only after this introduction that the film follows photographer Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) as he tries to find his boss’s daughter, Samantha (Whitney Able), in Mexico and take her back to America.

As the two try to find a way to go around The Infected Zone (where the spacecraft crashed) and after losing their money and having no alternative  they decide to go through the forbidden zone. This simple story allows us to get involved with the characters and see how their connection grows during the course of their journey. However, the screenplay lets the film down as the actors are given some very generic dialogue, uttered without irony and this jars.

With the director being in charge of the special effects as well, he manages to do so much in a film that has been speculated to have a very low budget and he pulls it off most of the time. The quality of the effects look good and are even really impressive at times. However, at some close-up and medium shots on these creatures the quality detracted and this is a shame as the film did have some good ideas and ways to keep the creatures look interesting at times.

The screenplay of the film does suffer from an over-familiar structure it lacks the ability to surprise but the film’s ideas and occasionally impressive effects will keep you entertained.

Here’s a trailer to get you in the mood,