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Little Monsters


Stars: Lupita Nyong'o, Alexander England, Josh Gad, Stephen Peacocke, Kat Stewart, Nadia Townsend

Director: Abe Forsythe

The Living Dead (and obviously I am not referring to the legions of sleeping MPs so often seen slumbering in the House of Commons) have been a regular horror movie staple since 1932's White Zombie.

Good taste is not usually a shockfilm element (except, possibly, in those genre movies directed by revered art movie auteurs when they aim for box-office success rather than subtext worship).

Happily, here writer-director Forsythe makes sure that not a trace of good taste is allowed to infest his splendidly gruesome, unexpectedly amusing horror show, smartly blending bloody terror with gratifying black comedy vigorously flavoured with a tsunami of - mostly appropriate in the circumstances - four-letter words.

Lewd and crude - yes.

But remember, this is an Australian production.

England (who, despite his name, is Australian) is well cast as a washed-up musician who volunteers to help kindergarten teacher Nyong'o look after her class when she takes them on a field trip to Pleasant Valley Farm, an expedition that turns out to be anything but pleasant.

There they are faced with foul-mouthed American entertainer Gad (very funny and notably tasteless) and - worse still - a gory eruption of slavering zombies hungering for human flesh...

Forsythe neatly blends bloody terror - his legions of the Living Dead are suitably scary - with on-the-spot black comedy to deliver a splendid shocker showcasing to enjoyable effect Nyong'o, whose feisty ukulele-playing teacher anchors the increasingly monstrous proceedings with a memorably to-the-point performance that gives the blood-and-guts show a credible human heart.

Alan Frank

UK/Australia/USA 2019. UK Distributor: Altitude. Colour.
94 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 02 Dec 2019