“Beast” is a tale that’s already been told, and we’re no longer rooting for the survivor
“Man vs beast” is a recurring movie trope about animals gone rogue terrorizing a small community. From cult classic films like Jaws (1975), which cemented the idea that the great white shark is nature’s number one killer, to Anaconda (1997), which told the tale of a vicious creature on the hunt for its prey. Truth be told, they can be entertaining—with countless jump scares to boot—but at what expense?
Idris Elba—yes, the Sexiest Man Alive in 2018 according to People—takes on the role of Dr. Nate Daniels in Beast. The survival thriller film centers around a recently widowed father and his teenage daughters who return to South Africa as part of their journey towards healing. They get the trip of a lifetime with an old family friend and wildlife biologist, Martin Battles, when it becomes a fight for survival. A bloodthirsty and larger-than-life lion, the king of the beasts, goes rogue after surviving illegal poachers, now seeing man as the enemy.
From experiential filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur (Everest, 2 Guns), the almost two hour-long summer film is straightforward; it’s almost unimaginative. Is it something that we haven’t seen before? Frankly, no. Would I recommend you to leave the comforts of your home to go watch the thriller-turned-sappy drama? Not really.
It’s a big budget Hollywood movie that highlights the perils of turning territorial creatures of the wild into profit—but still manages to demonize them. It’s a tale that’s already been told, and we’re no longer rooting for the survivor.
Want a better “monster film” that’s original and actually worth your money? We implore you to consider the science fiction horror-thriller Nope instead. It’s absolutely mindfucking, and is authentically Jordan Peele. Trust me; this time, you’re actually in for a ride.
Art Alexandra Lara