I love short films and short films that get to the point are even better since they know what type of film they want to present and what theme they need to follow delivering a very concise and effective story. If the film has good production values, good acting, and overall cohesive mise en scene then I’m there. The Beast (2012) is one of these types of rare indie short films that manage to achieve this. Written, produced and directed by Peter Dukes The Beast is a great example of an affective horror short film.
The film concerns the plight of Michel (Bill Oberst, Jr. who did a fine job as Abraham Lincoln in Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies - 2012) whom with his friend Douglas (Peter Le Bas) are preparing to tie up Michel’s son Jacob (Alexander Le Bas) during the night of a full moon. Douglas, realizing that what he and Michel is doing is futile, tries to convince Michel that he must do the right thing by Jacob by ending the boy’s life. Michel hears his friend’s words but may not be able to make the sacrifice of his own son despite the dangers present with keeping the boy alive. As the full moon rises time is running out for not just Jacob whose hands remain unbound but for all three men.
The film is a solid suspense horror film that relies more on the emotional contours of the characters to drive the story rather than on any flashy special FX and gore. With only three actors to focus on the audience is kept at attention and on the edge of their seat wanting to know what will happen next despite realizing what the final fate of the characters will ultimately be. Oberst, Jr. shines as Michel, a father with the ultimate decision to make – one that may forever haunt him.
John Snedden is director of photography of the film and delivers the goods as you are constantly aware of the moon slowly creeping into frame. The impending presence of the full moon is a ticking time bomb for the characters which puts both the characters and the audience on the edge of their seats. This is enhanced by Giona Ostinelli’s score for the film - a great classical sound for the period setting of the film.
If you enjoy a hirer profile kind of horror film then The Beast will be just right for you.