I never really bother to watch cable network monster movies. At times when I'm lazing around, channel surfing and they're always on, I opt for a syndicated sitcom that I easily quote lines from. This is no judgement on these films. Not all of them are terrible. And they keep thirsty film career folks employed. I'm actually glad they exist, but getting me to watch one on a leap of faith is a chore.
When Animal (2014) was released on VOD and in theaters June 17th, I made sure I got my second wind that evening to catch what I only speculated to be a cabin-in-the-woods-esque creature feature with two Black female leads. The uncommon casting is what piqued my interest.
Along the way, they encounter three adults who've been dodging the beasts' advances on their mortality for quite some time. As they all try to survive the night, emotional moments are exchanged, secrets are revealed, and surprises that could be not so surprising drive the story towards a rather solemn and open ended conclusion.
Animal feels like the foundation for something bigger. There are clues throughout the film that allow your imagination to run with possibilities but ends with no further exploration into the why's and how's, which is not always a bad idea. A bit more insight without over explaining would've been fine and felt more satisfying. Do not be surprised if we see a sequel.
In short, Animal was about survival, both primal and emotional and the struggle to maintain both. It proposed that they are equally needed to preserve our humanity. Without, the characters were no different than what was hunting them.
Directed by Brett Simmons
Check out Animal now in select theaters and all VOD options.