Little Monsters

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Director: Abe Forsythe

Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Alexander England, Josh Gad, Kat Stewart, Diesel La Torraca, Nadia Townsend, Marshall Napier, Glenn Hazeldine, Ava Caryofyllis.

Written by Abe Forsythe

Running Time: 93 mins

Cert: 15

Release date: 15th November 2019 (also available on Sky Cinema/Now TV)

The zombie comedy is a crowded place. From Return of the Living Dead to Shaun of the Dead to Zombieland and everything in between, it’s a sub-genre that, if a filmmaker is brave enough to take on, needs to bring something a little special to the table. Little Monsters is another zombie comedy that, thankfully, does something a little different and apart from a slight dip in the middle, is very funny.

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Dave is a disaster. He’s a slacker whose relationship has broken down, and he moves in with his sister and her son, Felix. When told to pull his weight around the house, Dave takes Felix to school and meets his teacher, Miss Caroline. Needing another adult for a trip to a petting farm, Dave, smitten by the primary school teacher, volunteers. What they don’t expect to find is a hugely popular TV kids show star and escaped zombies from a nearby American Army Base. Trapped, Miss Caroline, Dave and the children have to find a way to survive.

Director Abe Forsythe has taken the premise of the zombie attack and given it an interesting spin with a group of primary school children, not only being protected from the mass horror of hungry monsters but keeping them safe and alive. This brings out a series of funny and insightful set pieces that work over the now cliched walking dead.

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Starting out with a montage of silent fighting between Dave and his girlfriend doesn’t say a thing about the rest of the film. What it does is set the tone that this is going to be a flippant and enjoyable comedy. The zombie attack doesn’t happen until halfway through. This allows us to learn more about the leading players, as well as the kids, who play such an essential part of this film. It does dip slightly in the middle, and you think that the whole thing has run out of steam. Thankfully, through the energy of the cast and director, this dip doesn’t last too long, and it comes back fighting for a hilarious grand finale.

The cast is terrific. Lupita Nyong’o, so good in the horror, Us, is brimming with fun as Miss Caroline, the protective school teacher, who sees ways through everything with a song and a smile. She is as bright and delightful as the yellow dress she wears. Alexander England is suitably slobby as Dave, the man who falls for Miss Caroline’s charms. While the kids are delightful, the film is almost stolen by Josh Gad’s sleazy TV personality, Teddy McGiggles, a foul-mouthed egomaniac who has some dark secrets. It’s an amusing creation, and he lights up the screen every time he appears.

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Little Monsters is a blast. The zombies aren’t particularly scary, but the jokes come thick and fast. Managing to stand out among the crowd, this is the best zombie comedy since Shaun of the Dead. That is high praise indeed.

4/5

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