Love and Monsters

Love and Monsters ★★★½

Michael Matthews’ “Love and Monsters” is the rarest kind of movie these days: A fun, imaginative, genre-mashing adventure that was made with a modest amount of big studio money and destined for a theatrical release despite not being adapted from a comic book or carried by a major star. Well, maybe “destined” isn’t the right word, as a certain pandemic (you know the one) came along and compelled Paramount to scuttle a multiplex release in favor of a VOD play. And while it might be legally accurate to say that “Love and Monsters” isn’t based on pre-existing material, it couldn’t be more obvious that it was conceived by someone who saw “Zombieland” on TV one night and thought to themselves: “I could do it better. And with bugs.” Lucky for us, they were right — or at least right enough that it’s a blast to watch them try.

The brainchild of “Spontaneous” filmmaker Brian Duffield (who shares a script credit with Matthew Robinson), “Love and Monsters” was clearly written by people who’ve seen too many post-apocalyptic movies, for people who’ve seen too many post-apocalyptic movies. The lighthearted “this is how the world ended” voiceover that kicks things off is so lackadaisical and matter-of-fact that it feels like Duffield and Robinson were aiming it at an audience that’s been living in a post-apocalyptic movie since March.