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The Underrated Sci-Fi Comedy On Hulu You Still Haven't Seen

With genre gems like Get Out, Hereditary, and A Quiet Place proving as popular with audiences as they have with critics, even the most casual followers of horror, science fiction, and fantasy flicks must recognize that we are living through a golden age of nerd culture. The only problem is: So many great genre flicks have come and gone of late that it's essentially become impossible to keep up with all of them.

Thankfully, many of those overlooked gems have found favor — and far broader viewership — via streaming, including this subtle sci-fi masterpiece. The film is Nacho Vigalondo's fantastical dark comedy Colossal. If you're unfamiliar with the Vigalondo's name, the Spanish filmmaker made a bit of a splash in 2007 with the release of his marvelous, no-budget time travel shocker Timecrimes, and gained further acclaim a few years later with the innovative, Elijah Wood-starring thriller Open Windows. Released in 2016, Colossal was supposed to be the film that broke Vigalondo through to the mainstream. That didn't exactly happen, because even in spite of an overwhelmingly positive critical response, the film barely made a dent at the box office, and subsequently faded from cinematic consciousness with little fanfare.

As such, Colossal remains one of the more egregiously underrated genre movies in recent memory, and it's now hanging ripe for discovery on Hulu.  

Colossal is a killer Kaiju comedy just waiting to be discovered

Set largely in the cozy confines of a small New England town, Colossal opens in New York, and follows the story of Gloria (Anne Hathaway), an out-of-work writer partying her way through the NYC nightlife with little regard for her smarmy beau, Tim (the great Dan Stevens). When Tim calls it quits and unceremoniously kicks Gloria out, the unemployed boozer has little recourse but to move back home to New England. Once home, Gloria bumps into her old childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), who now owns a bar in town, and offers his down-on-her-luck pal a job. 

Working at a bar does little to curb Gloria's drinking habit. Neither does hanging around Oscar, who hits the booze pretty hard himself. But as heavy as that story may sound, we'll reaffirm that Colossal is actually a comedy, and that the film's early moments play out with the light tone of an indie rom-com about a character reconnecting with her past. Both the tone, and scope ofColossal's narrative change dramatically when a massive, reptilian monster mysteriously appears and rains destruction on the South Korean Capital City of Seoul. Even more so when Gloria discovers that she's actually controlling the Kaiju beast's every move.

Making the monster in Colossal

What's different about Colossal with regards to its Kaiju isn't just that a human controls it. It's also unique in that the creative team behind Colossal didn't implement any motion-captured footage to create the creature. Instead, director Vigalondo filmed Hathaway's performance as Gloria from as many angles as possible — utilizing digital cameras for the capturing — and handed the footage over to the film's computer graphics and animation team. Vigalondo put total trust into those talented folks — leaving the vision of the Colossal monster almost entirely up to them, save for one important directive.

"I'm not an illustrator or an artist. I wish I was," Vigalondo told ScreenRant in an April 2017 interview. "One clear direction I gave was not giving the monster any feminine attributes at all. [...] I didn't want the monster to be 'female,' Because the monster is an animal. And animals are not female or male. They are male or they put lipstick on and they are female? So I insisted that it shouldn't have any of the Anne Hathaway look or suggestions. It would just be a pure animal."

Once Gloria discovers that she can control a Kaiju, Colossal gets weird, wonderful, heartbreaking, and hilarious in ways you probably can't fathom — all while Hathaway and Sudeikis deliver some of their best work as the doleful duo at the film's center. Simply put, Colossal isn't quite like any film you've ever seen before. 

If you missed this low-budget marvel in theaters, there's no better time than now to hit up Hulu and discover its monstrous charms for yourself.