BEAST WITHIN (2019)
Directed by Chris Green, Steven Morana
Written by Matthew Campagna, Rudy Jahchan
Starring Steven Morana, Holly Deveaux, Ari Millen, Katie Boland, Colm Feore, Art Hindle, Bobbie Phillips, Melissa D’Agostino, Marco Timpano, Mark Andrada, Nicole Stamp, Jon Cor, Supinder Wraich, Rogan Christopher, Kassandra Santos, Jimmy Makris, Alysa King, & Tyler Williams as the Werewolf!
Find out more about this film here!!
No BEAST WITHIN is not a remake of the cicada rape body horror flick from the eighties, but it is much more similar to THE BEAST MUST DIE, where one of the cast is a werewolf and the fun is guessing who it is and who will be next for its dinner.
A wealthy investor (Art Hindle) is throwing a party for the release of his latest online sensation, a Magic the Gathering style game where one of the players is a werewolf and the rest are to guess who it is. Hotshot programmer August (Steven Morana) is not comfortable with the celebrity attention his work is getting and invites an online crush Cheyenne (Holly Deveaux) to the party, but immediately shuns her due to nerves. Meanwhile there is a real live werewolf stalking the guests and chomping down on their vital organs, whittling the large gathering down to a few suspects who are either the werewolf or prey.
BEAST WITHIN hearkens back to Agatha Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE and other whodunnits that provides a large cast of suspects for the viewer to guess who will either die horribly or be the murderer themselves. Much like the online game the party is highlighting, this film invites the viewer to participate in the mystery. Directors Chris Green and Steven Morana do a good job of keepings things under wraps for a good portion of the film, so fans of mystery and intrigue should look out for this low budgeter.
There are parts to BEAST WITHIN that feel overwritten and I think the information shared in the narration that runs through the opening could have been dispersed through action rather than simply telling the viewer who is who, but it allows the mystery to begin earlier. There are also some decent acting turns, including the lead Steven Morana, who plays the fallible hero pretty well. Holly Deveaux delivers a likable role as August’s spunky love interest. Another cast member of note is an actor I’m quickly beginning to respect more and more and that is Ari Millen. He had roles in THE OAK ROOM and I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD. The actor has an intense DeNiro quality combined with a Christopher Walken other worldly line delivery that makes him a standout in this large cast.
BEAST WITHIN is a low fi flick, but one that impressed me with it’s strong handling of mystery and fun werewolf scenes. The wolf itself looks great and is edited to highlight the strength of those looks. This is a unique little throwback that works much more than it doesn’t.