Bullet Points: Animal (2014)
Halloween is over but it doesn’t have to be October to watch a good movie where a bunch of idiot kids stumble around the woods getting eaten by a mysterious creature. If that sounds like the type of movie that you would be into then you’ll want to survive long enough to read the review below because Animal is exactly the type of movie that you would expect from its poster.
Synopsis: A group of young people take a trip into the woods where one of them had vacationed as a child and unexpectedly end up on the wrong side of a murderous beast with long-ass teeth. A rickety old cabin saves them briefly but they find that the “animal” is picking them off one at a time.
The People About to be Killed: Keke Palmer and Elizabeth Gillies are two large breasted young ladies who for some unknown reason never show off them already mentioned assets. I kept waiting for the stereotypical skinny dipping scene or just an ill-timed romp in the woods to expose the ladies but it just never happened. I guess they were both on Nickelodeon shows at some point so I’m even more surprised that they’re not walking around with needles sticking out their arms or letting their ass-cheeks hang out of every pair of shorts. Let’s be honest, child actors don’t exactly have a great success rate when it comes to turning into “normal” adults. Good on them, though, for not falling into the same old shtick as other movies of this sort. Sadly, the one stereotype that it hits pretty hard is the gay male friend. He screams and runs around crying the entire time. He makes Joey Lauren Adams’ character look like a badass by comparison. Oh yeah, did I mention that this movie has Chasing Amy’s Joey Lauren Adams in it?
The Creature: There is a beast living in the woods that is killing and eating people. There isn’t much more to the backstory of the animal that you need to know about. It reminded me of some sort of cross between a lion and a bear but I don’t remember any of the characters even mentioning that they’re being killed by some mysterious beast. It also wasn’t that great of a killer. In one scene the kids are hiding 30 feet from the creature and it neither hears nor smells them. That seems rather unlikely to me.
The Action: This movie is nothing special in the way of story and character development but the action is where I found it most lacking. A couple of solid action scenes or creature kills could have taken this movie to the next level (level 3?) but the filmmakers either didn’t have the money or patience to throw up a good scene. The movie doesn’t show the creature very often, which isn’t necessarily a terrible thing. There was a little movie you may have heard of called JAWS that did the same thing but Animal doesn’t even attempt to create the type of tension that JAWS did. With movies like this I usually like to see at least one of the characters “man up” at the end and go mano-a-mano with the creature but having mostly women and one fabulously gay dude didn’t leave much room for the badass showdown with the beast. No offense to gay dudes but they normally aren’t the first ones in films to grab a 2×4 and fight back against a man-eating monster.
The Verdict: I like to watch movies like Animal because I’m always looking for the next Wyrmwood or Orc Wars, movies that didn’t have a ton of money behind them but obviously were done by talented and super passionate people. Unfortunately, Animal didn’t have the charm of either of those films and it didn’t quite live up to what I was hoping for. Keke Palmer and Elizabeth Gillies were both pretty decent but the male characters were horrible and the creature didn’t bring on the type of scares that it should have.