Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
We look at 'Fantasia' in a brand new episode of Ink & Paint - and don't forget to subscribe to our podcast!x
review, Beast, Beast, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Johnny Flynn, Geraldine James, Jessie Buckley, Charley Palmer Rothwell, Hattie Gotobed, Shannon Tarbet, Trystan Gravelle, Emily Taaffe, Tim Woodward, Olwen Fouéré, Michael Pearce film rating

BEAST

★★★

A FERAL STUDY OF LOVE, REPRESSION AND VIOLENCE

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
28th August 2018

The British psychosexual thriller ‘Beast’ opens with a deadpan voiceover reminiscent of the recent ‘Thoroughbreds’, director Cory Finley’s tale of a horse-obsessed and possibly murderous teenage oddball. Here, a young woman rhapsodizes about her kinship with killer whales because “they always seem to be smiling.”

Writer/director Michael Pearce’s debut film follows Moll Huntford (Jessie Buckley, TV’s ‘Taboo’), a fragile 27-year-old woman living in an oppressive upper-class home, ruled by a controlling mother, Hillary (a great Geraldine James, ’45 Years’, ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’). The pale, red-headed Moll gradually begins to assert her independence, extricating herself from her dysfunctional family with the help of Pascal (Johnny Flynn, ‘Clouds of Sils Maria’), a handsome but rough-living outsider.

'BEAST' TRAILER

She likes his smell and, as in Terence Malick’s ‘Badlands’, Pascal unlocks a wildness in her that she has evidently long repressed. Moll’s monotonous life transitions from caring for her dad with Alzheimer’s, babysitting her niece and a dull job as a tour bus guide, to gnarly sex with her unsuitable boyfriend in dewy grass at midnight, getting “shitfaced” down at the pub, and a lot of tut-tutting from the conservative community.

Moll is closely monitored after an unspecified mental breakdown in her past and Pascal offers hope for a newly emancipated life... that is, until a slew of macabre murders spreads paranoia throughout the tightly-knit community on the Channel Island of Jersey (a location last referenced in ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’). Clifford (Trystan Gravelle), a dorky local cop who carries a torch for Moll, warns her that Pascal is the primary suspect.

It’s a shame that ‘Beast’ can’t maintain its momentum, because it features mesmerising, sinuous performances by Jessie Buckley and Johnny Flynn.

‘Beast’ was inspired in part by Edward Paisnel, the so-called “Beast of Jersey” who carried out a string of sex attacks on the island between 1960 and 1971. Unfortunately, once the film’s attention shifts from Moll and Pascal’s nascent romance to focus on the usual whodunit mechanics, ‘Beast’ starts to fall into some familiar patterns and feels like a typical episode of Jimmy McGovern’s (much imitated) BBC crime series ‘Cracker’ from the early '90s. Goofy rookie cops, tough veteran detectives, unbalanced outsiders whose romantic relationship escalates their craziness... the works. The motivations of the characters are also left ambiguous to the point of mild confusion by the film’s epilogue.

It’s a shame that ‘Beast’ can’t maintain its momentum, because it features mesmerising, sinuous performances by Jessie Buckley and Johnny Flynn. Cinematographer Benjamin Kracun’s masterful use of bold colour, light and dark, formally composed and handheld shots, emphasises environmental contrasts and emotionally fraught mental states. Jim Williams’ emphatic score is supremely unnerving. The Channel Island setting also allows the film to tap into some uniquely British pastoral horror vibes, a la ‘Whistle and I’ll Come to You’ and ‘The Wicker Man’.

‘Beast’ is a tense, visceral character study that explores the feral sexuality and paranoia that can erupt in repressive environments.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 13/09/2018
RUN TIME: 1h 47m
CAST: Johnny Flynn
Geraldine James
Jessie Buckley
Charley Palmer Rothwell
Hattie Gotobed
Shannon Tarbet
Trystan Gravelle
Emily Taaffe
Tim Woodward
Olwen Fouéré
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Michael Pearce
PRODUCERS: Kristian Brodie
Lauren Dark
Ivana Mackinnon
BeastMov
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Romantic Road - Falling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
TRENDINGROMANTIC ROADFalling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
Good Girls: Season 2 - It's never been so good to be bad
TRENDINGWIN GOOD GIRLS: SEASON 2It's never been so good to be bad
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Series 1-3 - The classic crime novels come to life
TRENDINGWIN AGATHA CHRISTIE’S MARPLE: SERIES 1-3The classic crime novels come to life
The Personal History of David Copperfield - Charles Dickens' classic reimagined through a comedic lens
TRENDINGWIN THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELDCharles Dickens' classic reimagined through a comedic lens
The Personal History of David Copperfield - A rhapsodic delight on taking ownership of our own stories
TRENDINGTHE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELDA rhapsodic delight on taking ownership of our own stories
Top End Wedding - Outback fantastic
TRENDINGTOP END WEDDINGOutback fantastic
Over the Limit - A real-life psychological thriller
TRENDINGOVER THE LIMITA real-life psychological thriller
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
About A Boy - All grown up 15 years on
TRENDINGABOUT A BOYAll grown up 15 years on
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
Beyond The River - An inspirational sporting journey
TRENDINGBEYOND THE RIVERAn inspirational sporting journey
Scheme Birds - A gritty journey to adulthood in Scotland
TRENDINGSCHEME BIRDSA gritty journey to adulthood in Scotland
Tumbbad - Visually rich Hindi horror
TRENDINGTUMBBADVisually rich Hindi horror
Melbourne Documentary Film Festival 2020 - The reviews
TRENDINGMELBOURNE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL 2020The reviews
Double Lover - Softcore pornography for cinephiles
TRENDINGDOUBLE LOVERSoftcore pornography for cinephiles
Waterloo - An epic recreation of the legendary battle
TRENDINGWATERLOOAn epic recreation of the legendary battle
The Big Trip - Should have stayed at home
TRENDINGTHE BIG TRIPShould have stayed at home
Flying High - Still landing jokes 40 years after take-off
TRENDINGFLYING HIGHStill landing jokes 40 years after take-off
Mr. Jones - A chilling true story
TRENDINGMR. JONESA chilling true story
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us