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Review: J. Budro Partida’s “Bewere”

There’s a certain wisdom that you can only learn from your elders. It’s a great feeling to be young and invincible, but that mindset can come back to bite you in the ass. That’s the theme that prevails in the new short film from PennyRock Productions, Bewere. The 12 minute mini-movie follows a preppy college boy who is too eager to gain the supernatural powers of a werewolf. So, he stiffs a pack-leader his payment for the gift without truly understanding what awaits him behind the bite. Written by Joy Y. Lin and directed, produced and edited by J. Budro Partida, Bewere stars Logan Pall, Joseph Fotinos, Ray Roberts and Drew Johnson. Bewere is currently enjoying a successful run in the film festival circuit, which will be followed by a release through Meridian Releasing Group. Here’s my thoughts having had a chance to view it.

One thing a film needs to possess to have its desired effect is a main character you want to live or die, especially in this genre. Aaron (played by Logan Pall) is the guy you love to hate. I hate spoiled rich kids, you hate spoiled rich kids, we all hate spoiled rich kids. When Oz (played by Joseph Fotinos) tells Aaron he’s going to be sorry, you genuinely hope that happens. Oz, despite being the biter, comes out looking like the protagonist in this narrative and his look and personality would fit in great anywhere from “The Walking Dead” to “Sons of Anarchy.” Bewere contains a classic approach to the werewolf universe that’s more story driven than it is centered around gore; even though it has awesome special effects from supervisor Chris Walterscheidt.

Instead of using a CGI monster of a creature costume, J. Budro Partida decided to showcase his monsters as wolves, real wolves. It’s old-school, something you’d see in the 50’s or 60’s, and gives an earthy, supernatural element to this story. The sequence with the wolves could have been trimmed down a bit, but that’s only a minor complaint and at least cinematographer Robert Lloyd Moore captured it all with ease. Shot in Texas and featuring the atmosphere and grit that only that state could produce, Bewere is a classic horror short with a bit of comedy that truly begs you to be careful what you wish for. It avoids all the pitfalls that so many other film-makers fall into and comes out as an twisted, delicious romp through distortion that will make horror fans howl.

Final Score: 8.5 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)