Monday, April 20, 2015

Animal Movie Review – Seriously, Never Ever Go Into the Woods

Runtime: 86 minutes
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Rating: NR
Director: Brett Simmons

Alissa, her stepbrother, their significant others, and their mutual friend drive to the middle of nowhere for a daytime hike. Jeff, the stepbrother, is something of a man's man. Not only does he come fully prepared, but he keeps pushing them to go a little further. He and Alissa once took the same trail often with his father when they were younger.

Jeff's girlfriend Mandy wants to turn around and go back, and Alissa agrees. Though she rightly points out that it's getting dark and that they don't want to be out in the middle of nowhere at night, he keeps arguing, which leads to the two fighting. Alissa then accidentally stumbles upon what's left of a dead body.

As a large monster/animal hybrid jumps out of the woods, everyone runs for cover. They eventually find themselves running into an isolated cabin in the woods. A random man uncovers the door, lets them inside, and barricades the door behind them. The man, Carl, and his wife Vicky were on a business trip when their car broke down. After wandering through the woods, they found their way to the house. Upstairs, is a man named Douglas who briefly popped up at the beginning of the film after his own run in with the same animal.

The ragtag group of survivors lock themselves inside the old house in the hopes of making it through the night. One manages to get cell phone service long enough to call for help. Rangers promise to track their cell to the nearest tower and send help, and both Alissa and Jeff's parents promise to send their own friends in the area out to look for them. As the night grows on and the animal gets closer, it becomes clear that they might not make it until the morning.

Animal is another movie I randomly stumbled across on Netflix and one that I watched without expecting much. It starts out as one of those classic horror flicks with all the typical stereotypes. There is naturally a girl who has to stop and put on her makeup before going into the woods, the gay friend who is so effeminate that it made my gay friend keep cringing and bringing it up, and the guy is so butch and masculine that he makes everyone else look bad. As the movie unfolds though, we find out there is more to the eye. The girl with all the makeup is just worried about losing her boyfriend, and Mr. Butchy McButch might not be as butch as he looks.

You also have to love any movie that features Joey Lauren Adams. Here, she plays Vicky and does an adequate job, but her role is a little one dimensional. She pretty much just serves as the wife of a guy tasked with leading a group of survivors. While she does eventually get her own story line, the movie is almost over by that point.

The director did do a pretty damn good job of showing the animal, and I want to give it up for the special effects team. With its gruesome teeth, the saliva dripping off its fangs, and the way it just shot out of the woods when I least expected it, I couldn't wait to see a little more. Animal is currently on Netflix, if you want to give it a go.

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