7th October 2019 3.30pm at Vue West End
8th October 2019 6.15pm at ICA Cinema
Following years of arguments and, ultimately, a breakup, Dave (Alexander England) finds himself sleeping on his sister’s couch and proving to be a reckless influence on his 5-year-old nephew Felix (Diesel La Torraca). With demands that he pull his weight if he is to stay, Dave’s school run results in his volunteering to chaperone Felix’s field trip, although it is more a concerted effort to spend time with his endearing teacher Ms Caroline (Lupita Nyong’o). However, what is meant to be a breezy trip to “Pleasant Valley Farm” turns into a very different experience when an outbreak from the US military base next door sends hordes of zombies storming down on the farm, leaving the duo and children’s entertainer Teddy McGiggle (Josh Gad) to protect the children from the bloodthirsty undead.
Straight off the bat, the Australian-set Little Monsters is crudely funny in all the right ways. At times it is outrageously inappropriate – it certainly falls into the cult film category – but it manages to balance out its impure moments with scenes of genuine emotion and a message that travels right to the heart: a must if you hope to formulate a 94-minute movie from swathes of adults and five-year-olds cursing at each other.
If you are ever stuck in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, it’s safe to give Lupita Nyong’o a call, because she is a total badass as Ms Audrey Caroline, turning zombies’ heads into mashed potato and doing everything she can to protect the students she so dearly loves. Likewise, England and Gad play the loveable rogue and the capricious kids’ comedian to hilarious effect, and for a zombie feature there is noticeable chemistry between Nyong’o and England’s characters, selling the romantic aspect of this comedic gut-carver effectively and authentically.
With ukulele versions of Taylor Swift and Neil Diamond ringing through the film like a pleasant broken record, you will never listen to those artists the same way again. The amalgamation of a riotous script, bloodied zombies (“thank God they’re slow”) and a pop soundtrack builds the entertainment level of this picture to Shaun of the Dead-style heights, albeit not quite measuring up to Edgar Wright’s infamous pace-setter.
The humour varies in degree throughout the feature, with the eventual finale proving a little more clichéd and eye-rolling than the sharp wit of the previous hour. “Predictable” is a word that comes to mind, but regardless, this outrageously fun film will garner a small cult following and be appreciated by any cinema-goers who are craving a laugh alongside a bit of blood and guts.
Little Monsters is released nationwide on 15th November 2019.
Read more reviews and interviews from our London Film Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the festival visit the official BFI website here.
Watch the trailer for Little Monsters here: