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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Liverpool Film Festival – Little Monsters review

Liverpool Film Festival arrived with a mighty opening on Halloween night showcasing Little Monsters, a comedy horror about a washed-up musician teaming up with a teacher to save a class from a zombie outbreak!

Exploring this slice of gory fun, First Take Film Club and Ya Gals on Film attended to watch, scream and hide their way though the screening and gave us the low down on the movie:

Little Monsters

Putting a group of tiny children at the centre of a zombie outbreak realistically would be terrifying, stressful and end in tragedy but Little Monsters pulls it off with a lot of heart.

It tells the story of failed rock star David (Alexander England), who is forced to sleep on his sister’s couch after a bad break-up. After setting his sights on his nephew’s teacher, Miss Caroline (Lupita Nyong’o), David blindly volunteers to assist Miss Caroline with a class trip to a farm.

Balancing humour and tender moments with splatters of brains and blood, Little Monsters is a great unconventional horror film. Lupita Nyong’o shines as usual and makes up for the sometimes hammy performance from England. Commanding the attention of the audience and the group of small schoolchildren she’s in charge of, Lupita gives her character heart and depth that could have been lost with other actors in the same role. It was a delight to see her in a much lighter role than previous films, and I am excited to see what she brings to the screen next.

Another notable performance is Josh Gad as celebrity children’s entertainer Teddy McGiggle. Gad has definitely come into his own after appearing as Le Fou in 2017’s live-action Beauty and The Beast, providing a hard edge of dark humour to his child-friendly character.

Overall Little Monsters is a treat to watch. Director Abe Forsythe does a good job of balancing the energies of the cast and pacing the film, keeping the audience entertained and engaged with a sprinkle of gore and sheep-eating zombies.

Catching Little Monsters at Liverpool Film Festival was a treat. A movie I wasn’t too familiar with before the festival, it operates as part horror, part dark comedy, but entirely full of charm.

As written above, the film centres around a school trip to an adventure park/farm, and then basically goes from there. Zombies appear, you don’t need to know why, all that matters is the children of the trip are supervised by the excellent Lupita Nyongo as Miss Caroline, and aided by the hapless, immature David, played by Alexander England.

The performances in this movie are interesting. The children, often used as an easy (but wonderful) comedic device, are the stars of the show. Cute, hilarious and often moving, David’s nephew and butter-wouldn’t-melt delight Diesel La Torraca plays innocent 5 year old perfectly. When child acting is done well, it brings so much to the table, and this story; the wit, the crudeness, the adult humour, is brought together perfectly by the children of Miss Caroline’s class to add heart, warmth and often a few tear-jerk moments.

Luipta Nyongo is genuinely super. She doesn’t have loads to work with, performance-wise, but just like everything she touches, she helps this movie turn to gold.

I’d watch this movie again in a heartbeat. When it’s released this coming month (15th Nov, to be exact) I will be watching it again. I’d implore you to, too, because it’s a right little charmer and beautifully heartwarming for the cold Autumnal months. And if that isn’t your bag, then there’s bucket loads of gore and a tonne of swears, so cop for that.

READ MORE: Short films review at Liverpool Film Festival 2019

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