Alright. I admit it. I’m a MASSIVE Lupita Nyong’o fanboy. I’ll watch anything that she stars in*, so when I got wind of a comedy horror movie that had her name above the title, I thought, “Yes please!”
Rather disappointingly, Little Monsters bypassed the cinemas where I live so I was denied the pleasure of a big screen viewing, and that’s a real shame as I found it hugely enjoyable.
Alexander England plays Dave, an ultra-selfish, washed-up musician who’s just broken up with his girlfriend and is, to use a very British phrase, on his arse. In a fit of self-pity he imposes himself on his sister, crashing on her couch.
One morning, she forces him to take her young son Felix to school and it’s there that he claps eyes on his angelic teacher Miss Caroline, played by an effervescent Lupita. Instantly besotted, he volunteers to help escort her class on an outing to some sort of outdoor attraction. Meanwhile, there’s been a zombie outbreak at a nearby military facility and soon the place is overrun.
Lupita Nyong’o is a mesmerising screen presence and it was a joy to behold her, armed only with a ukulele, morphing from ‘schoolteacher’ mode to ‘protector’ mode, doing everything and anything she could to keep her kids safe while also trying to convince them that the whole thing was just a game, even threatening a sleazy children’s entertainer (played by Josh Gad) with physical violence if he doesn’t play along.
This is a stupendously entertaining film and a lot more gory than I was expecting. Even though it’s primarily a comedy, director Abe Forsythe doesn’t shy away from the splatter, with zombie’s heads exploding and/or being cut off at regular intervals. There’s some great gags in her too, including a zombiefied sock puppet and the zombies joining in with a game of ‘If you’re happy and you know it’.
Needless to say, by the end Dave has learned the meaning of responsibility and is now a good example to his nephew Felix. Also, he gains Miss Caroline’s approval. But thanks to very likeable performances from all the leads his journey never feels hackneyed.
If they ever decide to make a sequel to this, I’ll be first in the queue. And hopefully this time it’ll be at a cinema.
*With the exception of that latest Star Wars trilogy. I have no intention of ever sitting through that again.