Sundance Film Festival 2019: Little Monsters is a Bloody Delight

A darkly humorous yet surprisingly heartfelt zombie comedy.
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For those of you who don’t know the synopsis, Little Monsters is not a documentary on Lady Gaga’s fan base. Instead, it is an entertaining zombie comedy that features Taylor Swift music, Star Wars references, and of course, lots of undead creatures. It also manages to be pretty heartfelt with its story involving a kindergarten teacher going to great lengths to protect her students from being infected and/or killed.

Admittedly, the chief protagonist is Alexander England as Dave, a slacker who accompanies his nephew, Felix (Diesel La Torraca) on a class field trip so that he can get with his teacher, Miss Caroline (Lupita Nyong’o). However, the real star of the film manages to be Miss Caroline herself. Lupita Nyong’o has proven herself to be a reliable performer and even has the Oscar win to prove that. But in Little Monsters, she gets to reveal her skills as both a sardonic comedienne and as a musical performer thanks to her singing Taylor Swift while playing a ukulele.

As Miss Caroline is guarding her students from the zombies, Nyong'o humorously makes it seem like the zombies are a part of some kind of game while still ferociously ensuring that the children don’t end up in harm’s way. As if it wasn’t evident enough, this film is definitive proof of her movie star capabilities and that we should see her do more live action roles as opposed to the voice work she’s mostly been reduced to since her Oscar win.  

That being said, another actor who was quite as standout is Josh Gad. Gad plays Teddy McGiggle, a children’s TV show host who’s rather psychologically unstable. We haven’t really seen Gad play someone so nasty and arrogant but it’s still nice to see him play so against type.

As for the rest of the film, it provides the typical gore and dark laughs that a zombie comedy does. However, as previously mentioned, it does have some heart to it. Not only is it an ode to kindergarten teachers who are protective of their students and try to guide them properly but it also demonstrates the bond between Dave and Felix. Initially, Dave is very pessimistic about both having and being around kids. But as the film progresses, he becomes more protective of Felix and learns to change his own ways.

In conclusion, Little Monsters is a thrilling and heartfelt zombie comedy that deserves to join the ranks of films like Zombieland. If you like zombies and humor and have a thing for artists like Hanson and Taylor Swift, then Little Monsters is definitely the film for you.

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