Maika Monroe is one of those actresses who's been quietly killing it while waiting for her big moment to arrive. Chances are, if you're one of the few people who went out to see Independence Day: Resurgence, you're already pretty obsessed with her and ready to explore more of the lovely and talented lady's work. If so, welcome to the fan club, because M2 is the jam.
Monroe has been inching ever closer to that “It” girl status in Hollywood for a while, and much the same as Alicia Vikander and Elizabeth Olsen were before her, the indie actress has been but one blockbuster away from the mainstream. ID42 might not mark that career high, but it gave her a space to get some more attention, and we have to thank Roland Emmerich and Co. for that at least.
If your eyes are fresh to her earlier movies, you're in for a true treat because her still-green filmography is already making her a critical darling and so easy to root for.
The GuestHanWay Films
Dan Stevens was the tour de force in this 2014 suspense thriller, no doubt about it. But Maika Monroe did more than just hold a candle to his alarming presence in the pic.
In the movie (no spoilers, promise!) she plays the sister of a fallen soldier whose long-lost combat buddy comes back to pay his respects. Like any angst-riddled teen, her outer layer is straight sass, but what lies beneath is a complex human being who’s just trying to figure herself out.
As events unfold, her brains and guts become of paramount importance, and M-Squared is able to nimbly weave in those moments of clarity without becoming some caricature of heroine-ism. To be able to steal the scenes the way she did from Stevens was a feat and proof that she’s got some serious chops built in.
In this film, Monroe portrays a young woman whose sexual encounter with a guy becomes an actual nightmare when he purposefully transfers unto her some hellish demon (yes, you might read this as some kind of elaborate PSA for abstinence, but just go with it because it’s still cool).
The reason this all works is because Monroe narrowly avoids becoming a cliché of boo-scare scream indulgence and instead captures a very real sense of fear, dread, and the guilt of having to spread this burden to someone else to try and save her own skin. Combined with the lighting, camerawork, and music, her work here is truly eerie and makes the flick anything but a cheap thrill.
Chloë Grace Moretz might have been the central heroine here, but in Maika Monroe's first alien invasion actioner, she impressed as the young resistance soldier Ringer, whose wit, might, and ability to intuit the grand scheme of things becomes so very vital later on in the series.
It's honestly kind of a shame the first installment of the Rick Yancey series adaptation was such a box office blunder because otherwise, The Infinite Sea would probably be on deck next, and we'd all get to bear witness to the rise of Ringer and her ascent to unbridled badassery. Alas.