Love and Monsters Parent Guide
This old fashioned thrill ride has a tongue in cheek tone and solid messages about facing fear.
Parent Movie Review
The apocalypse happened seven years ago.
No, the end of the world didn’t happen when an asteroid was discovered on a collision course with the planet. Quick thinking scientists smashed that threat by sending out an army of rockets.
The end of the world happened because those clever minds didn’t realize that the resulting rocket shrapnel and blasted bits of meteor that rained back down on the earth were contaminated with chemicals and radiation!
In short order, all the creepy crawly creatures that used to live underground mutated into giant versions of themselves and preyed upon the unprepared humans. Human survivors were forced to swap places with the hideous hordes and hole up in bunkers where they could hide from the murderous menaces.
Joel (Dylan O’Brien) is one of the few survivors. Lucky for him, he has fallen in with a pack of strong-but-kindly souls willing to protect him because, truth be told, Joel is a little timid and lacking in self-preservation skills. Not quite as fortuitous is his living situation. Everyone else has coupled up while they have been in isolation together (a fact that Joel is reminded of when he hears sounds and sees the silhouettes of the man and women whose bedspace is separated from his by a curtain).
Yet a glimmer of hope appears for the lone bachelor when he makes radio contact with another sheltering group and discovers his former girlfriend Aimee (Jessica Henwick) among them. Out of desperation more than courage, Joel decides to make the 85-mile journey – though monster infested territory – to reunite with the love of his life. It is more of a suicide mission than a quest.
Most of the movie focuses on Joel’s road trip, those he meets along the way and the terrifying trouble he gets into. While peril is constant and fighting frighting foes is frequent, the script employs humor to mellow these moments.
Even with the tongue-in-cheek tone, parents should be aware that younger children may be frighted by the jump scenes, physical altercations, decapitated and dismembered bug parts, (with slime and blood), along with depictions of explosions and man-eating monstrosities.
Older audiences are more likely to feel they have taken a turn on an old-fashioned rollercoaster. With a mix of high and low action sequences, the storyline imparts its message about taking risks, facing fears and finding inner fortitude. Featuring a main character with relatable foibles, the movie gives a fresh spin to a tried and true genre and turns it into an amusing ride.Directed by Michael Matthews. Starring Dylan O'Brien, Jessica Henwick, and Michael Rooker. Running time: 109 minutes. Theatrical release October 16, 2020. Updated January 8, 2021
Watch the trailer for Love and Monsters
Love and Monsters
Rating & Content Info
Why is Love and Monsters rated PG-13? Love and Monsters is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for action/violence, language and some suggestive material.
Violence: Large and scary monsters (portrayed in live action and animation) are threatening mankind: They are depicted attacking. crushing and eating people. Deaths are implied or shown in silhouette. Human characters defend themselves with weapons like bows and arrows, harpoons, swords and guns. Creatures are decapitated, chopped, speared, shot and killed by explosion – their body parts are shown, sometimes with blood and slime. Characters are in constant peril and are scared or startled by unknown monsters. Characters with malicious intent engage in fistfights, gunplay and bind the hands of others. Dangers from crashing asteroid, shrapnel falling from space, chemical poisoning and radiation are mentioned, as is the resulting mutation of animals and the death of a large portion of the population. Characters deal with loss and grief.
Sexual Content: It is implied a couple is having sex when sounds are heard, their silhouettes are seen on a curtain and their bare legs are shown. Various couples kiss. A young woman invites a man into the backseat of her car and they begin to kiss. Some sexual dialogue and innuendo are heard.
Profanity: Frequent use of moderate and mild profanities, a dozen uses of scatological slang and some terms of deity. Infrequent use of sexual slang.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A character makes his own alcohol which he shares with his friends. The group becomes intoxicated. A character is poisoned and begins to hallucinate.
Page last updated January 8, 2021
Love and Monsters Parents' Guide
This movie tries to balance depictions of violence with humor to create a lighthearted action adventure. How well do you think they mixed the two? Do you think these opposites should be combined in the same story?
Love and Monsters is releasing in limited theaters and on home streaming platforms during the global coronavirus pandemic. Do you see any parallels between the social distancing people are forced to endure because of the novel coronavirus and those the characters face because of the dangerous creatures? How does isolation fatigue affect Joel? How is it affecting you? What risky behaviors does Joel engage in? Are they good for him in the long run? What risky behaviors might housebound people engage in? How safe would those be in a pandemic situation? What difference does it make to your decisions when you are facing a temporary problem (like a pandemic that will eventually end) or a permanent problem (like an infestation of mutant monsters that will go on forever)? Learn more about the psychological effects of crisis fatigue.
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