BELOVED BEAST *** USA 2018 Dir: Jonathan Holbrook. 173 mins
A young girl is forced to live with her substance abusing aunt following the death of her parents. Nina, the young orphaned girl befriends an escaped mental patient and faces an onslaught of issues, encountering monsters in many guises as she’s left fighting for her sanity and her life.
The film is Written and Directed by Jonathan Holbrook, Director of Monsterland 2 and Tall Men. Beloved Beast gives us a good few intertwined stories, all relating to Nina. The film tells tales of Nina’s aunt, her new escaped convict friend, the police department, drug dealers, killers and plots to kill and abuse Nina. So there’s alot going on here, sometimes a little too much, but still makes for an entertaining viewing.
Normally, after watching a movie you can instantly tell if you loved or hated it, but after sitting through nearly three hours of Beloved Beast my mind is blown and torn at the same time. Yes, I do think the story could have been told within 70-100 mins, but the film comes across more like a mini-series than a standalone feature film. It would have been a good idea if this was told in shorter segments like a mini-series, as there’s definitely enough characters and stories. You do get the feeling that this was intended as a series and the director thought, no, let’s turn this monster into a big feature film.
This film is pure indie filmmaking at its finest. The makers behind the film had so much heart and passion for this project, it’s crammed with great indie actors and amazing cinematography. It’s not that often that you get a bizarro film in the vein of David Lynch’s dream like world, well you do here.
The characters drive this beast of a film, you don’t care for the majority of them but you most certainly do for the young girl Nina, played by Sanae Loutsis.
I really enjoyed this, mainly because it’s something familiar, but delivered and executed in a different way than we’re used to seeing in the standard slasher/thriller/horror film. This film shows us who the true monsters are, ourselves.
Sometimes the horned goblin lurking looks just like us when we look into the mirror.
Review by Tony Newton