It's true. Most scary movies just aren't that scary. Atmosphere is often conveyed by a bunch of well-worn cliches, and the jump-scare is relied upon to create the thrills.
In the new British thriller BEAST, writer-director Michael Pearce avoids these superficial pitfalls and instead delivers a creepy work of real tension and fresh situations. It's half lovers-on-the-run story and half psychologically fraught murder procedural, and that's all good.
As a series of murders plague the strange island of Jersey, our protagonist Moll (played wonderfully by Jessie Buckley) entrenches herself in a world of love and violence. This is a good, smart, very scary movie. See it while you can at the AFS Cinema.
But don't just trust us, trust these professional movie critic people:
“The film is not so much a psychological thriller as a performance-driven portrait of a vulnerable-yet-ferocious woman in a very dangerous predicament, and the electrically intense Buckley is the actress to carry it.” Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Bathed in a shadowy beauty and slippery psychological atmosphere, BEAST soars on Ms. Buckley’s increasingly animalistic performance... This is lurid stuff, yet Mr. Pearce miraculously holds things together until the end” -Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
“This dark nail-biter eschews the obvious at every turn and is less a whodunit than a twisted moral meditation grounded by its mesmerizing leading lady.” -Barbara VanDenburgh - Arizona Republic
“BEAST is, first and foremost, an inquisitive and empathetic character study, focused on the psychologically possessive qualities of belatedly unleashed sexuality.” -Guy Lodge, Variety
“Immaculately composed yet skittish, edgy and surprising, BEAST emanates a chill that will have you hugging your sides… Just when you think you’ve got it pinned down, it hairpins off in a new direction.” -Philip De Semlyen, TimeOut