‘Fear lives in the dark.’
Animal is a 2014 American monster horror film directed by Brett Simmons (Husk; The Monkey’s Paw; Chilling Visions: 5 States of Fear) from a screenplay by Thommy Hutson and Catherine Trillo. It was executive produced by Drew Barrymore.
It stars Jeremy Sumpter, Elizabeth Gillies, Keke Palmer, Joey Lauren Adams, Amaury Nolasco, Parker Young, Paul Iacono (Return to Sleepaway Camp); Thorsten Kaye. The soundtrack was composed by tomandandy (The Hills Have Eyes; The Strangers).
The film was given a limited theatrical and VOD release on June 17, 2014. A Blu-ray release by Shout Factory! followed on February 17, 2015.
Two couples are being chased through the woods by a mysterious beast. Barbara trips and is killed, despite Douglas’s attempts to save her…
Sometime later, five college students arrive in the forest to take a day long hike. Jeff forces the others to try and find a waterfall he and Alissa used to go to as kids, but they end up taking so long that it is nighttime by the time they start walking back to the car. Along the way, they discover the remains of Barbara’s body, and then encounter the same monster that killed her. It chases them to a cabin…
Perhaps due to its the formulaic basis, Animal (which is an awful uninspiring title, in itself) is a wasted opportunity all round. It’s well-filmed on an obviously limited budget and the creative creature design provides some good opportunities for scare scenes. Unfortunately, Animal‘s scenario is deadened by dull, bickering characters and not nearly enough monster attacks.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES & MANIA
“From start to finish, for about 80 minutes, nothing out of the ordinary happens. The action is confined to one location because the budget is miniscule. The one-dimensional characters behave like you expect them to and die in the order you expect them to.” Shock Till You Drop
“All of the forest locations look fantastic and the cabin the survivors convalesce in has some great production design going on. Sometimes craft can make up for a shitty narrative, but Animal‘s almost complete lack of story overshadows everything else.” Bloody Disgusting
“Sure, a simple cat-and-mouse formula establishes the proper framework for any backwoods monster movie, but dragging characters off-screen gets old after a while – especially without any atmospheric tension or terror […] hollow, unfinished, and without a touch of detail.” We Got This Covered
” … the sets are pleasingly authentic, Simmons’ direction is unobtrusive and formulaic in the best possible “old-school” manner, and yeah, damn right — the creature itself is balls-out awesome. What more do you want — or really even need — than that?” Trash Film Guru