Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
The SWITCH team has fought tooth and nail to take down the top action films streaming right now!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
The Sophia Loren Collection: Volume One - See the screen legend like never before
TRENDINGWIN THE SOPHIA LOREN COLLECTION: VOLUME ONESee the screen legend like never before
Spies in Disguise - An awesome animated spy film for the whole family
TRENDINGWIN SPIES IN DISGUISEAn awesome animated spy film for the whole family
Lockdown and Catch Up - The best action films streaming right now
TRENDINGLOCKDOWN AND CATCH UPThe best action films streaming right now
Pixar Animation, ranked - Revisiting and ranking the films of the animation powerhouse
TRENDINGPIXAR ANIMATION, RANKEDRevisiting and ranking the films of the animation powerhouse
Lockdown and Catch Up - The best family films streaming right now
TRENDINGLOCKDOWN AND CATCH UPThe best family films streaming right now
28 Days Later - ...15 years later
TRENDING28 DAYS LATER...15 years later
Birds of Prey - I'm here to report a terrible crime: DC has saved cinema
TRENDINGBIRDS OF PREYI'm here to report a terrible crime: DC has saved cinema
Vivarium - What makes a house a (horrific) home?
TRENDINGVIVARIUMWhat makes a house a (horrific) home?
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
Sleeping Beauty - A history of Disney's masterpiece on its 60th anniversary
TRENDINGSLEEPING BEAUTYA history of Disney's masterpiece on its 60th anniversary
How to Train Your Dragon - An animation that reached new heights
TRENDINGHOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGONAn animation that reached new heights
Lockdown and Catch Up - The best comedy films streaming right now
TRENDINGLOCKDOWN AND CATCH UPThe best comedy films streaming right now
A Guide to Second Date Sex - A quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
TRENDINGA GUIDE TO SECOND DATE SEXA quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
Back of the Net - Misses the net, and then some
TRENDINGBACK OF THE NETMisses the net, and then some
Samui Song - A twisty, noir-ish exploration of female identity in Thailand
TRENDINGSAMUI SONGA twisty, noir-ish exploration of female identity in Thailand
Wet Woman in the Wind - A sexy struggle for conquest
TRENDINGWET WOMAN IN THE WINDA sexy struggle for conquest
Lion - A raw and powerful journey of identity
TRENDINGLIONA raw and powerful journey of identity
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
Children of the Sea - Sunk by a soggy script
TRENDINGCHILDREN OF THE SEASunk by a soggy script
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us