It seems like only last week we were reviewing a zombie comedy, and in fact it was. Apparently, you can’t keep a good subgenre down, and this week we’ve got the Aussie take, Little Monsters by criminally underrated director Abe Forsythe (Down Under).
Little Monsters, at its core, is about what might happen if a zombie outbreak occurred during a kindergarten excursion to a tourist farm, Pleasant Valley in this case. Miss Audrey Caroline (Lupita Nyong’o) must keep her charges safe and distracted as all around people lose their minds and limbs. Unfortunately, for her (and the audience, to a degree), Miss Caroline isn’t the main character of the movie, that honour goes to Dave (Alexander England), who is an absolute deadshit, frankly. Dave is selfish, stupid, manipulative and only very sporadically funny, which makes him a curious choice for the romantic lead, particularly opposite Lupita who is absolutely radiant. And while Dave’s story is ostensibly a redemption arc, there are quite a few moments where you’ll be rooting for the zombies to gnaw his face off.
Happily, Lupita Nyong’o absolutely shines as Miss Caroline, imbuing the potentially shallow role with depth and pathos, making her journey an absolutely thrilling one. More surprising, the kids are actually pretty good too, with Felix (Diesel La Torraca) offering a star turn as Dave’s allergic-to-everything nephew. The story finds momentum along the way as well, with the third act surprisingly affecting after a somewhat listless middle section.
Little Monsters is a great premise bolstered by a wonderful performance from Lupita Nyong’o, somewhat stymied by a singularly unpleasant lead character, but loaded up with charm, humour and tolerable children.