Beast: A Monster Among Men

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When a friend of mine announced he and a group of his buddies completed a film they worked on, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Most amateur filmmakers are trying to make a name for themselves and at times can rush an unfinished product.  As for Beast: A Monster Among Men, it completely surprised me on how well it was made.  Am I a little biased?  Possibly.  A friend of mine stars in the film, so sure, I want him to do well.  But friendship aside, this movie was well constructed and had a surprising twist.

Throughout this film, I kept asking myself if the beast was a werewolf or maybe just a metaphor for one of the characters.  The guessing was a high point for me and I for one was surprised with the conclusion.  A few things I’d like to throw out there about this movie, will give you a better understanding as to why my review is the way it is.  The whole film was shot in 9 days, not one cast member is a professional actor and the budget was estimated around $20,000.  With these facts in mind, my review is not going to be based on your typical blockbuster film.

Beast: AMAM starts off with a series of interesting facts to give the viewer a sense of where the story is going and what has already taken place.  A group of five friends go on a trip to a secluded cabin just outside Six Rivers National Forest.  During their travels, tensions build within the group and none more so than between Mike (Blake Farris) and Ely (T.J. Lavin).  Mike is constantly rubbed the wrong way by Ely’s lack in personality, which causes Bill (Mike Lenzini) to be torn between his two friends.  The rest of the group tries to manage with the situation, but ultimately struggles with making their owns decisions as to what is best for themselves.

At times during the film, I did not see depth in the story.  These questions were answered at the end of the film which was a nice touch.  One thing I felt could be improved with Beast: AMAM was the length of meaningless scenes.  By meaningless, I’m referring to small cut scenes not giving story or dialogue.  Every movie has them, but I felt the time could have been cut down a tad to keep the audience involved with the flow of the story.  For the most part, this was really my only negative for the film.  Some things I was impressed with were; the acting, soundtrack and camera angles.  Very rarely do amateur films collectively bring these things together.  Honestly, I would not be surprised if within the next 10 years we see a few of these actors on the big screen.

The big crave nowadays with monster movies has been zombies.  Is Beast: AMAM a zombie flick?  No, but Director Mike Lenzini does give a great twist and fresh look to a suspenseful thriller.  The running time of this film is 72 mins.  There is brief nudity and strong language.  I highly recommend watching Beast: AMAM, it is great for a night cap.  View now with Video on Demand or purchase on Amazon.

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About: Jake Grunwald

Owner/Co-Founder - Review Junkies LLC., Est. June 2013

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