Monsters is a short film written and directed by Chrissie Harper and produced by Steve Green and Vamporama Films.
The film starts with a pan of a post-apocalyptic world as we enter an air raid shelter and are greeted by “the man” (Liam Woon).
The man delivers a poetic and ambiguous monologue where he acknowledges the state of the world without giving too much away.
He alludes to the monsters – so similar yet so different from himself – who emerged with their violence and bestiality and have conquered the world.
Right from the start the film presents some questions: “Who is this man?”, “Who are the monsters?”, “Who are we?” – but it doesn’t answer them right away.
Rather it gives us clues through the man’s speech and allows us to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
You’ve come to judge me, I see it in your eyes
Wy are we judging this man? Who are we that we have the moral to judge someone?
He proceeds to explain that he and his “kind” were driven underground by the “monsters” that emerged and took control of the world.
Before, he said, they used to live in harmony and have a sense of good and bad, but when the monsters arrived, they surprised them with their evil.
As mentioned before, the film doesn’t answer who the monsters are, but looking from the current political conjuncture, it’s possible to draw a bridge from the monsters of today.
Creatures who are so like us but so different.
That pointed out to us and called us the real monsters.
Who have driven us underground.
Creatures that have emerged, slowly but surely, and have taken the power.
Who are deeply intelligent and know who to use their intelligence to their own gain.
It sounds familiar.
As daunting and scary it is to admit, it’s not hard to imagine that this man mirrors our future.
However, throughout his monologue, he tells us that his kind fought back, and they have become their monsters’ monsters.
They have now gained the power back and set themselves as the rulers of this world. Looking at the bridge previously drawn, in this fight against evil, this win shows the power of people and how important it is for the underdogs to stick together.
As dark as the film depicts life, it ends in a semi-positive note.
Having said that, the film still poses some doubts: Why are they still underground? Why is he referring to us as a separate entity? If he is mirroring our future, then why would we judge him?
The man is well dressed and well groomed.
He wears a black outfit and the decor of his “room” resembles the atmosphere in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and, as he eats his food, he discloses how his kind won against the monsters: they ate them.
The man has a calm expression – he accepts what he’s become.
He was faced with an obstacle and he had to find strength inside himself to fight it. And in this shift, he became a monster.
Some might say he has evolved.
And if we’re looking at a mirror, seeing our future, we’re looking at the real depths of horror.
But we’re also looking at our incredible strength to stay alive when faced with difficulties.
The man is showing us the tools we need to use to stay alive are within ourselves…
We are monsters.
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