Friday, October 16, 2015

31 Nights of Terror 2015 #16 - The Beast of Xmoor (2014)

The Beast of Xmoor (2014)
Director: Luke Hyams
Starring: Melia Kreiling, Nick Blood, Mark Bonnar
Format: Netflix

Plot: A pair of documentarians head into the woods of the Exmoor countryside to find proof of the mysterious big cats that roam the area. But what they find in the depths of the forest is a horror beyond imagine. They must fight tooth and nail to survive or fall prey to what lurks in the darkness.

I've said before that I love horror movies set in isolated locations, especially the wilderness. While writer and director Luke Hyams hasn't re-invented the wheel with The Beast of Xmoor, he has taken a common horror trope (people hunt for Bigfoot in the American wilderness) and given it an English twist.

The setting is the expansive, windswept English moors (actually shot in Ireland, doubling for England, apparently) which are incredibly eerie. The urban legend in question is the English black panther. Like Bigfoot in the US, it has intrigued Brits for a long time now and makes for plenty of speculation (google it if you're unfamiliar). 

On top of a unique location and would-be monster, there are a few other twists thrown in that keep things interesting. Oh, and it's not found footage (despite having documentarians as main protagonists) which I was glad of, having seen way too many of those movies lately.

At its essense Exeter boils down to a "survival in the wilderness" flick, but it works because of the location and because of the acting, especially of lead Kreiling, who plays a great damsel in distress who is forced to kick butt to survive. Once the action starts it's pretty fast paced and never boring, although it won't please gore fans very much. While the ending feels a bit rushed, it is satisfying enough. 

Overall, Exeter won't blow you away, but is definitely worth a watch for having a different take on a well-worn genre.

No comments: