I’m going to cut right to the chase and state I didn’t care for this movie at all. Which is surprising since I’m a creature feature lover and with the trailer I saw, and the reveal of the monster on the cover art soon after, and with all the hype I was hearing I was positive I was going to get a kick out of this movie. Some things aren’t meant to be, I guess.
I’ve mentioned this before about being alive for forty plus years that one of it’s curses is seeing the same movie concepts done over and over and I’ve seen this movie done before and better, but oddly sometimes that has no bearing on whether I’m going to like a movie or not. I was kind of hoping The Cabin In The Woods (2012) might be the end all and be all of kids-trapped-in-a-cabin-in-the-woods-and-besieged-by-nasty-thing(s)-from-outside, but I guess I was naïve to think that.
I don’t know maybe this flick just happened to have the bad luck of being reviewed by someone who was having a moment where all that he’s seen before and seen better was weighing heavily upon him. It could be as simple as that. Bad timing. Maybe I’ll revisit this flick five years from now and suddenly see its virtue. That’s happened before with other movies.
The plot is simple: five kids are out for a walk in the woods, in a place two of them once frequented many, many years before, and stay out a little to late. The leader of the gang is Jeff (Parker Young from the wrongfully cancelled military comedy series, Enlisted) who seems to know where he’s going, but gets into an argument with his stepsister, Alissa (Keke Palmer) that delays this whole jaunt till nightfall. Mandy (Elizabeth Gillies) even states there’s no way in hell she’s walking back to the car in the dark. Well, she does and they do and that’s when they are set upon by a monster that looks like the cousin of those things that attacked that bar in Feast (2005). Not surprising since FX artist Gary J. Tunnicliffe created both.
I will give the film props for executing the monster practically as a man-in-a-suit, which I’d rather see than a CGI critter, unless that CGI critter looked realistic, but I don’t think they could have pulled off something CG realistic for this flick.
The surviving kids find a cabin out in the woods and hole up in it for safety. But they’re not alone. There’s already three other people holing up in it, one of them is Joey Lauren Adams, the only other actor I recognized from this movie. However, Jeremy Sumpter, who plays Alissa’s boyfriend Matt, seems awfully familiar, but lookinghis credits up on IMDB doesn’t ring a bell at all. Strange. I know I’ve seen in something I just can’t place him.
Anyhow, the rest of the movie is played out as most of these movies are with the dwindling cast bolting doors and barring windows and trying to figure out how to survive/escape. I already knew either all of them will be dead by the film’s conclusion or only one of them will survive. It’s the latter this time, and I already knew what it meant every time the creature was seen making these strange sounds after it killed someone. That’s right, people, there’s more than one “animal” at large in this flick.
Yeah, that’s about it. I can’t find anything more to say about this movie.
Animal got released on separate DVD and blu-ray editions back on February 17th through Shout! Factory’s horror sub-label, Scream Factory. Incidentally, all of Chiller TV’s films are released through them and I have yet to see a Chiller TV movie I liked. I still have hope though someday something will come along.
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 2.35:1 high definition widescreen— English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio—English subtitles only
Extras included on both the DVD and the blu-ray:
- Audio Commentary with Director Brett Simmons
- Interviews with the Cast (1:43)
- Behind the Scenes Footage (3:04)
- Theatrical Trailer (1:45)
- Teaser Trailer (:32)
Generally when filmmakers working on a monster movie say they’ve created something you’ve never seen before, rule of thumb is it’s something you have indeed seen before, which is what you hear in the Behind The Scenes Footage about the monster. I know it’s tough coming up with monstrous things the public has never seen, but sorry guys as I mentioned before the moment the monster design hit the web the first thing I thought was it reminds me of the Feast monsters. Not that that’s bad. I liked those monsters, and this design isn’t bad, all I’m saying is it not entirely something I haven’t seen before.
Okay, I’m done talking about this movie.