Horror films these days lack a lot of heart, and are just out to make a quick buck. There are a few horror films which do stand out from the back but do you know why films like 'The Conjuring' and the Hammer Horror remake of 'The Woman in Black' do stand out? It is because they are retold in the classic horror manner. No matter what sub genre of horror you are interested in, whether they are ghost stories, Giallo or Splatter, when they have classic elements they just above the rest. When watching the short film 'The Beast', I could't get the original Universal Monsters out of my mind. It just had a classic feel, sure the story is something that has been used before but this was rehashed in a fresh way. You can always make films with a very familiar story with classic elements and a new direction. But unfortunately most people would rather make a horror film with zero heart, narrative and story because it makes them a quick buck.
Here is the run down. A troubled father( Bill Oberst Jr) takes his son Jacob( Alexander Le Bas) into the words along with Jacobs uncle Douglas( Peter Le Bas) . Not much is revealed at first but it is definite that Jacob has a problem which can only be resolved by taking him into the forrest and tying him to a tree. Before the full moon hits, Jacob asks his dad to untie him so he can pee in the bushes, unsure at first he decides it would be unfair to not let him go. Once Douglas finds out about this he isn't happy, and then Jacob is nowhere to be found...well not in human form anyway. This film was shot amazingly well, the camera angles which were chosen to reflect moods and tones were spot on, and really added a great texture to the visuals. I am also going to compare this short film to what Spielberg did for 'Jaws'. In 'Jaws' you don't see the shark, for the first half of the film, everything is left up to your imagination, and let's face it, your imagination can run as wild as you like, and can create some scary images. In 'The Beast' you don't see the werewolf in full view in the daylight, you see a dark figure, you see close ups of his eyes, you hear him and you see the consequences of Jacobs actions. That to me is just as thrilling and scary as seeing everything in full view because it's all about the mystery, you can let your mind orchestrate the story.
Peter Dukes strikes gold again with 'The Beast', and it makes me so excited to see the finish product of it when it becomes a full length feature film. This is definitely a film which can go far, and I think it will strike the right chord with classic horror fans. Horror is a genre which die hard fans take personally, its a big part of their identity and shapes them as people, most of my friends are horror fanatics, and I can tell you that they would love to see where a film like this goes. I definitely enjoyed the musical score to 'The Beast' because again it had a classic feel to it, and it had a mysterious and menacing quality about it. And sure that might sound dramatic, but these kind of films are not meant to be subtle. All the ingredients just melted together and added different layers which overall shaped the film to its final product. I am so happy that film makers like Peter Dukes exist, because he has so many tricks up his sleeve, his ideas are fantastic, original and authentic, nothing seems fake or forced. I am definitely looking forward to seeing the finished product, and seeing what else Peter can bring to the table to excite the audiences senses.
Here is the video for 'The Beast'. Enjoy!