Monsters is a 2010 British science fiction monster film written and directed by Gareth Edwards in his feature film directorial debut. Edwards also served as the cinematographer, production designer, and visual effects artist. Monsters takes place years after a NASA probe crash in Mexico which led to the sudden appearance of giant tentacled monsters. It follows Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy), an American photojournalist tasked with escorting his employer's daughter Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able) back to the US by crossing through Mexico's "Infected Zone" where the creatures reside.
Edwards conceived the idea for the film after seeing fishermen attempt to bring a creature in with a net, and imagining a monster inside. He pitched the idea to Vertigo Films, who suggested he watch In Search of a Midnight Kiss, a low-budget film starring McNairy. Edwards cast McNairy and Able in the lead roles. Principal photography lasted three weeks and had a production crew of six people. Filming took place in five countries, and many locations were used without permission. Most of the extras were people who were at these locations during filming and were persuaded to act in it; all of their dialogue was improvised, and Edwards provided outlines of the primary plot points.
Monsters premiered at South by Southwest on 13 March 2010. Hours later, Magnet Releasing acquired the rights to distribute it in North America. It had a limited release there, beginning on 29 October 2010, followed by a theatrical release in the United Kingdom on 3 December 2010. The film received generally positive reviews and was a box office success, grossing US$ 4.2 million against a budget of less than $500,000. Monsters: Dark Continent, a sequel, was released in the UK on 1 May 2015.