The Most Underrated Sci-Fi Movie of the Decade Just Arrived on Netflix

The Most Underrated Sci-Fi Movie of the Decade Just Arrived on Netflix
Image credit: Paramount Pictures

This movie does a great job of playing with the genre while delivering a great coming-of-age story.


This movie does a great job of playing with the genre while delivering a great coming-of-age story.

  • The post-apocalyptic action comedy starring Dylan O'Brien was released in 2020, but the film went largely unnoticed.
  • However, it delivers a remarkable story full of hilarious homages and uplifting scenes.
  • The film is now available on Netflix and is a must-see!

Post-apocalyptic fiction has come to dominate the literary sci-fi landscape with the publication of books such as Matheson's I Am Legend and Ellison's A Boy and His Dog, which have been incredibly influential in the development of the genre. And of course the movie industry loves it too, with examples including the aforementioned A Boy and His Dog, Mad Max, 28 Days, Zombieland, and many more.

But of all the post-apocalyptic movies, there is one notable example from 2020 that is far more serious than Zombieland but not as decadent as A Boy and His Dog, explores loneliness as much as I Am Legend, but is not as violent as Mad Max. It's a great action movie with no shortage of fun and suspense — why not check it out now that it's available on Netflix?

What Is This Movie About

We're talking about Love and Monsters, a coming-of-age action-adventure comedy directed by Michael Matthews from a spec script by Brian Duffield, the man responsible for The Babysitter and No One Will Save You. Duffield co-wrote the screenplay with Matthew Robinson. The film's star, Dylan O'Brien of Teen Wolf fame, evolves from a goofball into an incredibly deep and mature character, as does his Stiles Stilinski.

In the story, an approaching asteroid was destroyed by nuclear warheads, causing a fallout that mutated most of the cold-blooded animals, turning them into creepy giant monsters. Human society has collapsed, and protagonist Joel first sees his parents die before his eyes, then is separated from his girlfriend Aimee (Jessica Henwick).

Seven years later, the survivors live in underground shelters. In the one Joel finds himself in, most of the survivors have found romantic partners. The young man proves to be the most useless of them all, as he, traumatized by the death of his parents, immediately freezes at the sight of monsters. One day, however, Joel manages to contact Aimee by radio and decides to embark on a dangerous journey to reunite with her and, if possible, pave the way for other survivors.

Why It Is Worth Watching

Along his journey, Joel finds allies, each of them a subtle homage to popular post-apocalyptic fiction, which doesn't make the movie boring due to the overload of references, but on the contrary allows it to be quite funny, deconstructing the post-apocalyptic genre in a great way.

First of all, he meets a dog named Boy, which is an obvious nod to A Boy and His Dog. Only here, the dog is not an amoral misanthrope motivated solely by food and killing. On the contrary, the dog becomes attached to the protagonist and repeatedly saves him. Second, Joel is rescued by a duo of survivors played by Michael Rooker and Ariana Greenblatt. The former also carries a katana, a humorous homage to his involvement in The Walking Dead. But that's not all, as the series also features a small role played by Bruce Spence, known for the second and third installments of Mad Max.

Besides, the story itself turns out to be quite light-hearted, encouragingly conveying the growth of Joel, who over the course of events found self-confidence, overcame his traumas, and finally realized his purpose in this world - not only to save humanity, but to help it become better by showing empathy to monsters. It's a great coming-of-age element that, while contrasting with the amorality of most post-apocalyptic fiction, gently suggests that humanism and dignity can endure even in the darkest moments.

So, folks, shall we embark on a dangerous adventure?