Director – Bruce Wemple (The Retreat, Monstrous)
Starring – Francesca Anderson (Groupie, Grip), Adrian Burke (Ghost Girl, Younger), Chris Cimperman (Lake Retreat, The Nerd)
Release Date – 2021
Rating – 3/5
I’m always on the hunt for indie horror flicks that deliver some insanity. Indie movies always struggle with telling a story on a budget or with no budget at all. Some try to cover up their lack of a budget with buckets of fake blood or nudity but I prefer movies that mask their shortcomings with humor. With that being said, sometimes you get an indie flick that has so much going on that you never notice the budget. They use the money wisely and make every cent count.
A few weeks back I received the press release for the 2021 horror flick Dawn of the Beast from Monstrous director Bruce Wemple. The trailer sold me on the film so I reached out to get a screener link for it. I was not expecting a polished horror film like this.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a group of bigfoot enthusiasts who go deep in the woods in hopes of finding the elusive creature. However, things take an unexpected turn when they find a badly decayed corpse. Things then take an even stranger turn when they find an old book. Soon they discover that bigfoot is real and he’s not the only creature stalking the woods. **Spoiler Alert**
We’ve seen several bigfoot indie flicks pop up over the years but never a bigfoot vs. wendigo flick. This one was extremely fun but it could have been a lot better. It had some great moments but there was also a lot of missed opportunities.
The acting in this one was one of my biggest complaints. The cast is really dedicated to their roles but a lot of the scenes were very underwhelming. The characters are very bland and don’t do anything significant to move the story along. With a story as wild as this one you would expect a character or two to stand out from the crowd.
The story for this one is not at all what I was expecting. We get a modern bigfoot settings mixed with wendigos, and a little dash of Evil Dead. I loved the set up and how it comes together I just wish we had more wendigo and bigfoot action. The whole selling point of the film is this and yet it’s only in the film for a fraction of the time. Also, the film could use a good trim. Some of the scenes are just way too long and dull. The dialogue is gringy at times makes the already drawn out scenes feel even longer.
Finally, the film has some cool practical effects and creature effects. The visuals are solid as well but the fight scene is not nearly long enough to truly appreciate what went into it. I could have used a lot more of this. Overall, Dawn of the Beast will not be for everyone. In fact, I can see some of you bitching about it but if you are in the mood for something a little different then I would highly recommend this crazy ass movie. You won’t see anything like it for some time.