A group of friends on a weekend vacation have their plans ruined when they get lost on a day hike in unfamiliar woods. As darkness hits, the group quickly discovers that they are not alone, and that a horrific predator with a taste for human flesh is pursuing them. Tensions rise among the group as emotions, and secrets, begin to flood to the surface. The group discovers an isolated cabin occupied by a group of strangers also hiding from the creature. Together trapped in the cabin they must overcome their differences to figure out what the creature wants and how to get out alive.
‘Animal’ is a creature flick, and a decent one at that. Not only is it fairly scary, but the creature actually looks pretty cool as well. Rather than following the typical “creature hunting people lost in the woods” paradigm the film evolves into something much more interesting and entertaining. There is a focus on the questions of what the creature is and why it is chasing them, rather than just how they can escape. While the answers are not always satisfying credit is due for attempting to elevate the plot beyond just running from something scary.
Overall, the film’s acting is okay, and a lot better than similar genre films. There are no real standout performances, but none are terrible either. Of course the real star of the film is the creature itself. It has a unique appearance that makes it immediately feel scary. A lot of times in low budget films like this the creature design is phoned in. Rather than rely on quick shots and cheesy design, ‘Animal’ gives the audience something to actually be scared of. It has a realistic appearance that begs questions about its origins.
A lot of the elements in the script are not the most original, but nevertheless they are done well. Some unexpected twists make up for many of its weaknesses. Beyond the plot critiques, ‘Animal’ is an entertaining film. Fans of creature centered horror films will find it to be a good watch.
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