BrandonHabes’s review published on Letterboxd:
MONOS exists on another planet, a perilous edge of the world fantasy that injects you with a syringe of Lord of the Flies + Aguirre, the Wrath of God. A brutal, unflinching fever dream that takes you hostage for 102min, starves you of its sociopolitical context, then forces you to survive its guerrilla anarchy. These are the lost boys and girls of Neverland. A dysfunctional young militia being trained for a war they can hardly understand, pushed to revolution more by hormones and insecurity than by clear, specific ideology.
The bare, almost feral mystery of being thrown into their savage world without any kind of guidance creates an immediate you-are-there ferocity. Faint echos of a larger Civil War loom on the periphery, but our attention is catapulted towards the microcosmic hell of the hidden countryside. This is fringe-world, immersive cinema that ascends as high as the foggy mountain tops, and descends as low as the untamed jungle.
It's about the gradual decay of power structures, of governmental systems, and the absurdity of children mimicking the horrific actions of adults in distant spheres. UNDER THE SKIN composer Mica Levi delivers yet another jittery, soul-crushing score for the ages, equal parts gripping and hypnotic. Completely masterful!
Just an overall well-crafted, unnerving experience that does more with little by demanding viewers to thoughtfully fill in the chaotic dots and dashes.