‘The legends are real… and they kill’
Dawn of the Beast is a 2021 American horror film about graduate students who get more than they bargained for while searching for Bigfoot. Not only is he real, but there’s something far more evil lurking in the shadows, the Wendigo.
Directed by Bruce Wemple (The Retreat; Monstrous; Lake Artifact; Altered Hours) from a screenplay written by Anna Shields (Girls vs. Boyz; Monstrous; Little Bi Peep), based on a story by Bruce Wemple.
The Traverse Terror-377 Films production movie stars Chris Cimperman, Ariella Mastroianni, Grant Schumacher, LeJon Woods, Adrián Burke, aforementioned Anna Shields, Willard Morgan and Francesca Anderson. Produced by Ryan Sloan and Roger M. Mayer.
Special makeup effects were handled by Jared Balog (The Last Frankenstein; Uncle Peckerhead; The Dead Don’t Die; House Shark).
Aiming to see Bigfoot, a group of students venture deep into an area of the Northeastern wilderness known for its strange creature sightings. Soon, they learn that there is a much more sinister evil lurking in the woods, the Wendigo, and once the spirit knows you’re there, they will come for you. Who will survive in a battle between the two most notorious monsters of the forest?
“Overall, Dawn of the Beast is as Wemple and Shields intended: a fun “drive-in” movie, warranting 3 of 5 stars, as its strengths of setting, eeriness, and suspense were diluted with strange choices for cinematography in its most critical scenes.” Heaven of Horror
” …the film could use a good trim. Some of the scenes are just way too long and dull. The dialogue is gringy at times makes the already drawn out scenes feel even longer. Finally, the film has some cool practical effects and creature effects. The visuals are solid as well but the fight scene is not nearly long enough to truly appreciate what went into it. I could have used a lot more of this.” Horror Society
” …we get students killed by the wendigo, students killed by bigfoot – the bigfoot using brute force and the wendigo using psychic powers – until the creatures (there’s actually more than one wendigo) eventually turn on each other; delivering a kind of deep-South kaiju battle set to a techno soundtrack! Featuring some decent gore and superb monster effects (really the film’s monsters look amazing, no matter the budget)…” Nerdly
“The action takes too long to arrive, the dialogue is unevenly paced, and the budget isn’t properly utilized. It’s still a fun romp and delivers on enjoyability a lot of the time, so you definitely shouldn’t skip it if you like seeing rubbery B-movie monsters wail on each other in the third act.” Rue Morgue
“There is some fun in Dawn of the Beast. There are a few jokes, characters you root for, as well as one or two you root against, but there’s also a lot of drudge here. You find yourself sitting through too much filler while you wait for the more interesting moments […] However, the film’s best aspect is – far and away – the creature effects.” UK Film Review
“Dawn of the Beast is a watchable and ultimately enjoyable film, but it could, and should, have been a lot better. The script needed a lot of tightening up in the first act. It needed to either get to the action quicker or actually use that time for character development. A bunch of annoying characters making stupid decisions doesn’t qualify.” Voices from the Balcony
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Dawn of the Beast will be released by Uncork’d Entertainment on Digital and DVD on April 6th 2021.
Cast and characters (end credits order):
Adrián Burke … Chris
Ariella Mastroianni … Isabella
Grant Schumacher … Everett/The Creature 2
Anna Shields … Lilly
LeJon Woods … Oz
Chris Cimperman … Jake/The Squatch 2
Willard Morgan … Doctor Dennis Kasdan
Francesca Anderson … Marie
J. Louris, Jr … Shop Owner
Roger M. Mayer … Cashier
Shawn Maloy … The Squatch
John Mac Schnurr … The Creature
Nate Van Deusen …. The Creature 3
Franklin, North Creek and Troy, New York
MOVIES and MANIA review round-up and rating:
After a fairly inauspicious first half with some characters that seem like they won’t be worth rooting for the pace racks up rapidly midway through. From then on there’s some decent monster makeup, non-stop tension and some genuine scares. What’s more, it develops into a monster mash that also involves Evil Dead style zombies. Worth watching.