Synopsis of film and action

Seven years after the monster apocalypse, Joel Dawson and the rest of humanity have been living underground since giant creatures took over the earth. After calling his high school sweetheart, Aimee, who is now 80 miles from the coastal settlement, over the radio, Joel begins to fall in love with her again. When Joel realizes that there is nothing left for him underground, he decides against all logic to take a chance with Aimee, despite all the dangerous monsters standing in his way. (Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

Love and Monsters Film Report

Below is a summary of the spoilers.

In the future, Earth is nearly destroyed by an asteroid that was on a collision course with the planet. The nations of Earth unite and launch a nuclear strike that destroys the asteroid, but unfortunately causes nuclear fallout all over Earth. As a result, all the cold-blooded animals on the planet turn into huge monsters and begin to wipe out most of humanity. Joel Dawson (Dylan O’Brien) is a high school student from Fairfield who is in love with his girlfriend, Aimee (Jessica Henwick). Unfortunately, the couple break up during the evacuation of Fairfield, with Joel going with his parents and Aimee with her. Joel promises to find Aimee once he’s settled. During the evacuation, Joel’s parents are killed, but he finds a colony to live in an underground bunker.

Seven years later, Joel is still living underground, where the other survivors in his bunker, except for him, are all in romantic relationships. Joel keeps in touch with Aimee, who lives in a colony near the ocean, via shortwave radio. Most of the colony spend their days fighting monsters and searching for supplies, but Joel is sent to the kitchen because he has a reputation for freezing in dangerous situations. One day a giant ant invaded the colony and killed one of Joel’s colleagues. Joel realizes that life is short and goes in search of Aimee, so he won’t be alone.

I didn’t really have a typical upbringing. I mean, I did it first, and then the whole world went out. Joel Dawson

During the seven-day journey, Joel travels through the outskirts of an abandoned city. He is attacked by a giant toad monster, but manages to escape with the help of a stray dog named Boy. The boy accompanies Joel on his journey and helps him by warning the inexperienced Joel about eating poisonous berries and other dangers. One day Joel accidentally falls into a nest of worm-like monsters called the Sand Players. Joel is nearly killed, but is saved by two other survivors, Clyde Dutton (Michael Rooker) and Minnow (Ariana Greenblatt). Both are heading north into the mountains, where colder weather and higher altitude means fewer monsters. Joel temporarily joins them on their journey and they teach him some basic survival techniques. Joel documents and illustrates his lessons in the journal. He also learns that not all monsters are dangerous and some are friendly. Minnow tells him that he can tell by her face. Clyde and Minnow invite Joel to stay with them, but Joel continues to search for Aimee. Clyde gave the grenade to Joel before they parted ways.

Joel continues west towards the sea. Joel and Boy encounter a giant centipede monster that corners Boy. Joel freezes as usual, but finds courage when he sees that his only companion is in danger. Joel shoots and kills the monster with his crossbow and saves the boy. The next day, Joel and Boy seek refuge in an abandoned motel where they find a robot named Mav1s (Melanie Zanetti) that doesn’t work. The Mav1 has enough power to run Joel’s radio and contact Aimee. Joel learns that the new survivors have reached Aimee’s colony and promises to take them to safety. The next day, Joel and the boy are attacked by the Sandman Queen. The two hide in a tree stump, but Boy barks and betrays his position. Joel kills the queen with the grenade Clyde gave him. Joel was thrown into the pond by an explosion. When the danger is over, Joel yells at the boy for putting them both in danger and forces him to walk away. Joel comes out of the pond and discovers it is full of poisonous leeches. Joel takes them off, but he starts hallucinating. Fortunately, he is rescued by Aimee’s colony before he collapses.

Soon after, Joel woke up and finally saw Aimee. She shows him her beach colony with elderly survivors who depend on her. Aimee also introduces Joel to new survivors Cap (Dan Ewing), Dana (Ellen Hallman) and Rocko (Tre Hale). Cap claims he wants to move Aimee’s colony to a safer location on the ocean. Everyone in the colony is happy to leave. Aimee admits that she is happy to see Joel, but informs him that she is not the same person she was seven years ago. She also tells Joel that she is still grieving for someone she had an affair with. With nothing stopping him, Joel decides to return to his colony and make contact via radio. He learns that their bunker has become dangerous and that they will soon have to leave it to survive. Cap sends Joel some berries he has identified as poisonous during his travels with the boy. Joel realizes that Cap cannot be trusted and rushes to warn Aimee, but he is unconscious.

Joel wakes up tied up on the beach with Aimee and the rest of their colonies. Cap reveals that his group is there to steal their supplies, and that their boat is being towed by a crab monster that Cap controls with a circuit. Cap electrocutes the crab to warn him that he will feed on the colonists. Joel and Aimee are freed and begin fighting for their lives with Cap and his team. The boy returns and begins to help Joel fight the crab. Joel finds a way to kill the crab, but he determines that the crab is not hostile by looking into its eyes. Joel pulls the electrified circuit and activates it. The crab leaves Aimee’s colony and attacks Cap and his crew, killing them and sinking their ship.

Soon after, Joel and Boy prepare to return to Joel’s colony. Joel orders that Aimee and her colony head north into the mountains. Joel kisses Aimee passionately before he leaves, and Aimee promises she’ll find him. Joel returns to his colony and finds most of them still alive. He leads them into the mountains. Before he leaves, Joel leaves a tape repeated on the radio, telling everyone how to survive in this world and where to go in the mountains. Several colonies, including Aimee, follow Joel’s instructions and begin to move into the mountains. In the mountains, Clyde and Minnow wonder if Joel will survive his next trip.

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Paramount Pictures released Love and Monsters on the 16th. October 2020. Michael Matthews directed the film with Dylan O’Brien, Jessica Henwick and Michael Rooker.

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