Whenever you watch horror movies where a group of people is stuck in a situation where they fear something happening to them, the characters’ actions will make you wonder whether they lack common sense. Beast, starring Edris Elba in the lead role, isn’t technically a horror film. It is a survival thriller where a family who is visiting Africa is trying to run away from a Lion. Even though the visualization of the traumatic experience looks great, the cliched way of making characters do stupid stuff makes it a middling movie.

Dr. Nate visits South Africa after a really long time with his two daughters after their mother passed away due to cancer. The intended fun vacation with uncle Martin goes downhill when the group realizes that they have entered the territory of a loner lion. With the lion killing an entire village, the family gets trapped in a situation from which they will have to escape. What they did to achieve that is what you see in Beast.

The character of Nate has this hallucination problem, and he is somewhere guilty of not being supportive of his ex-wife. In the initial moments of the movie, where you sense the dysfunctional family dynamic between the father and the daughters, Beast gives you an impression that it will have a humanistic layer too. But as the movie progresses, you sense the cliched use of that backstory in the script, and you aren’t really bothered about the guilt of the central character. When it comes to the USP of the movie, the sequences featuring the lion, even though everything looks terrifying visually, the choice of action of the characters is so stupid that it becomes difficult to feel bad for them.

Idris Elba, as Dr. Nate performs the strict dad role, who is in denial of his actions, looks convincing. The body language is more towards being a careful father rather than a trained fighter. Sharlto Coplay as Martin Battles, a wildlife biologist who knows every beat of the jungle, also played his part neatly. Iyana Halley and Leah Sava Jeffries, as daughters of Nate, played their parts very confidently.

It is the survival thriller aspect that keeps the movie in an engaging space. What is kind of annoying about Baltazar Kormakur’s making is the way he creates situations just for the lion to hunt his protagonists. There is a scene where Nate is trying to treat his injured daughter as they are running away from the lion. And when they enter this abandoned building, the carelessness shown by every character in the frame seems like a very deliberate move to create a set piece. Thanks to the spectacular standards of the visual effects, which make the movie-watching experience an uncomfortable one in a good way.

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Beast is a very predictable survival thriller that uses the tension in its moments to hide the creative blandness. The lion looks real, and the tension on screen is palpable. With just 93 minutes of runtime, Beast never becomes a drag. And to the folks who decided to distribute this cinema in India with an interval block, local theater projector operators have more sense than you folks in pausing a movie. Who pauses a film for an interval in the middle of a fight?

Final Thoughts

Beast is a very predictable survival thriller that uses the tension in its moments to hide the creative blandness.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.