The Most Monstrous Movie of the Year

This article is a recapture and review of the new movie “Colossal.” Warning: spoilers ahead.

Haylee Haupt, Columnist

“Colossal” is a science fiction comedy about an alcoholic named Gloria (Anne Hathaway) who returns to her hometown after a breakup over her persistent addiction, and her true monster is revealed. This article will be broken up between two sections: a recapture of the entire movie and then my personal review of it. If you’d like to skip the spoilers, jump down to the review section.


The movie begins with Gloria stumbling into her boyfriend Tim’s apartment in New York City after a night out. Tim (Dan Stevens) packs up Gloria’s things and asks her to move out since she can’t seem to improve her alcohol addiction. Upon arriving to her hometown, an old elementary friend named Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) drives by and stops to talk to her, inviting her to his bar and later offering her a waitressing job. After the bar closes, Gloria, Oscar, and other friends drink the night away, leading Gloria deeper into her addiction. As Gloria walks home the following morning, she stops in a playground to rest on a bench, eventually falling asleep. When she awakes and returns home, she finds out that there was a gigantic monster attack in Seoul, South Korea. As she watches the monster’s actions, she notices it do a nervous tick that she often does (scratching the center of her scalp). Freaked out by the similarities, she returns to the park the next morning and does specific movements. Afterwards, she races back home to see the monster on the news do the exact same moves.

Gloria, in shock, goes to work, and when the bar closes she reveals to her drinking buddies her discovery. They return to the park at exactly 8:05 a.m. (the same time the monster has been showing up in the past few days), and Gloria instructs them to pull up a live stream of Seoul on their phones. They see the monster appear, and as Gloria dances in front of them, they see the monster moving the same way.

Scared of hurting any more people, Gloria learns the geography of Seoul (which the enclosed playground mimics) so that whenever she manifested the monster, she would be standing in the river. She also learns how to write an apology in Korean, and draws it out in a dirt patch so that the South Koreans know she meant no harm.

Gloria spends the next few days avoiding alcohol and the playground, until one morning when she wakes up to the news showing a giant robot attacking Seoul. She runs to the playground to find a drunk Oscar tiptoeing around the mulch, saying that he “wanted to have some fun too”. Gloria steps into the ‘ring’ and slaps Oscar (which, on the news, shows the monster slapping the robot, and cheers can be heard in the distance). Oscar eventually leaves, but later that night at the bar, he gets in a massive fight with Gloria, saying that if she doesn’t obey his every word he’ll return to the playground and rampage the city, killing hundreds of innocent people. Terrified by being in the presence of a newly revealed sociopath, Gloria agrees. The next morning, a sober Oscar apologizes to Gloria, but it is evident that he still wants full control of her.

Tim travels to Gloria’s hometown, pleading with her to come back to New York, but the controlling Oscar says that if she leaves, every single morning she’s gone he’ll kill more and more people. Trapped, Gloria tells Tim that she can’t go with him. When Tim returns again, Oscar sets off a massive firecracker in his bar, causing the building to ignite. This performance reveals to Tim what kind of danger Gloria is in, and begs her to meet him at the airport later. Gloria goes home to find Oscar sitting in her chair, refusing to leave so that Gloria doesn’t try to run off with Tim. Gloria gets in a violent fight with Oscar, leading both of them to race each other to the playground. Oscar beats up Gloria (showing that the robot also defeats the monster), and Gloria is left laying on the ground to watch him stomping around, hearing shrieks and sirens with each step.

After the massacre, Gloria has an idea. She boards a plane to Seoul, and when the robot appears there, she steps out in front of it. Being where she is, her monster appears back at the playground to greet Oscar. Gloria bends down and grabs at the air, signaling the monster to grab Oscar and bring it up to it’s face. A flashback sequence is shown, and it is revealed that when Oscar and Gloria were children, they were walking to the bus stop when Gloria’s 3D mural of Seoul, South Korea, gets blown over a fence (where the playground will later be built). Young Oscar hops over the fence, followed by young Gloria, and when he thinks she’s not around, he stomps and destroys her project. A lighting bolt then hits young Gloria on the middle of her scalp, and then hits young Oscar, and a monster toy falls out of Gloria’s bag, while a robot toy falls out of Oscar’s, explaining how the freak accident caused all of this.

In the present, you can see in Gloria’s eyes that she’s conflicted with what to do, but Oscar continues to be vicious, even in the hands of the monster, and the monster flings Oscar across the town, causing the robot to disappear forever.


In the beginning of the movie, I was fascinated by the fiction portion of Gloria and Oscar’s monsters. It seemed like Oscar was going to be a good guy, but as the story progressed, he made my stomach turn more and more. Hathaway did a phenomenal job as Gloria, showing in every part of her Gloria’s growing fear of Oscar’s presence in her life, but still not giving up. Sudeikis terrified me as Oscar. Every time he appeared on the screen he became more and more cynical. I felt sick to my stomach in some moments. Director and writer Nacho Vigalondo did not back down from showing the overwhelming darkness of a controlling sociopath. What I love most about this movie is that it isn’t afraid to show the raw physical and emotional abuse from both characters. While Gloria may have been the victim, she isn’t portrayed as weak or fragile, and showed that she isn’t perfect in her habits, either. It’s easy to think that the fiction aspects of the movie would make everything unbelievable and childish, but it did just the opposite. I was fooled into thinking it was plausible by how the story thickened, and how intense each destruction scene came across. I would definitely recommend seeing this movie, but I would also like to warn that some parts are hard to watch, especially if you’re someone who has gone through similar control. Overall, “Colossal” is a one-of-a-kind movie that needs the recognition it deserves.