Loving v. Virginia was a landmark civil rights case and, therefore, includes all the ingredients for Hollywood to make an ostentatious, celebratory melodrama. Thankfully, writer/director Jeff Nichols takes a unique approach, focusing on the family central to the litigation as simple, decent folks who just want to be together, instead of classifying them as plaintiffs or pumping them up as metaphorical change agents.
A desolate wooded road. An evening rainstorm. Car trouble. A woman and her daughter in peril. And…a hungry monster. The Monster has a lot of familiar creature feature raw materials, much like writer/director Bryan Bertino’s The Strangers uses standard home invasion tropes. What elevates both films are three-dimensional characters and deeper drama that meshes with the well-crafted tension.