Who's In It: Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able
The Basics: Several years ago a space shuttle crashed in Mexico. On it were new life forms. Those life forms escaped and turned into gigantic flying monsters with metallic tentacles, creatures that seem most attracted to other metallic objects, buildings, light and vehicles. If humans happen to be in the way, well, then sorry about that, humans; you had to die sometime. As a result, all of northern Mexico is a quarantine zone, and when two Americans have to cut a path through the worst of the monster-infested territory, they encounter a lot of Near Death along the way.
What's The Deal: This ambitious indie wants to be a love story, a metaphor for immigration and isolationism like District 9, a Cloverfield-ish exercise in sharp, shocking disorientation, a trippy let's-try-to-understand-the-aliens movie like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and an old-fashioned octopus-from-another-world creature feature. It succeeds at everything except convincing you to take it seriously as romance or politics. Sometimes it's okay if the monsters are just monsters.
Strangest Moment: The movie's climax finds the young couple very close to the American border and stuck in an abandoned service station, where a bizarre scene plays out with two giant monsters that you think are about to crush everything and eat them. What happens next is... surprising. I don't want to spoil too much by over-explaining it, but it's not quite like anything a giant monster movie has ever given you before.
Meet The Monster Maker: One-man-crew Gareth Edwards wrote this, directed it, created the visual effects (he's already won a BAFTA award for those on other films), and assumed the role of production designer and director of photography. He may have even been craft services for all we know. It's his first theatrical feature after winning the Sci Fi Channel's 48 Hour Film Contest. Expect cool weird things from him in the future.
Monster Trending Alert: Tentacles. It's nothing new, of course. The first monster movie I ever saw was a 1970 Japanese kaiju film called Yog, Monster from Space (aka Space Amoeba). But recently there's been The Host, the TV movies Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus as well as Sharktopus. And coming soon is Skyline. I guess the rationale is that they have arms to crush the world with. And they aren't vampires.