The Beast Within - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Beast Within Reviews

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November 27, 2011
Fucking thing lied to me. No werewolves to be had, although there is a terrible transformation sequence thrown in.
November 13, 2011
Dude . . . CLASSIC . . . ED FRENCH did the make-up.

The Best Transormation-Scene of its kind.


Hey, its a lot like an HP LOVECRAFT stories woven into one (including The Case of Charles Dexter Ward).

Super Reviewer
½ October 12, 2011
There is something perversely horrifying about a foreign entity manipulating you from beyond your control, but 'The Beast Within' is a rancid, leisurely paced inner-demon flick that cannot be taken solemnly due to the flaccid performance from Paul Clemens who only appears clammy and disoriented rather than terrified. Add to that, the asinine cicada sound F/X whenever Michael is stimulated are cheesy and cacophonous. The one shining contribution is the pulsating transformation scene in which Michael's skin inflates, peels off and contorts in inexplicably grotesque ways. At least Ronny Cox adds some urbane class to this otherwise strictly gorehound fare.
½ August 22, 2011
Trashy, southern-fried horror that doesn't have the greatest of storylines, but it is partially saved by the presence of Ronny Cox (delivering a good performance), and some interesting transformation sequences.
½ August 21, 2011
With such awful film credits as "Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf" and "Howling III: The Marsupials" to his name, I sure went into Philippe Mora's "The Beast Within" with a well deserving questionable gaze as this guy has some true turds on his resume. However the name Tom Holland (director of "Fight Night" and "Child's Play) credited as screen writer reassured my optimism, as Holland is a tremendously underrated screenwriter and director. Well, I am glad to say "The Beast Within" was far better than I imagined it was going to be but not without a LOT of flaws help bring its star rating down.

The film opens with an uncomfortable rape scene where a woman is assaulted by a swamp beast. Jump to 17 years later we learn the assault resulted in a child... and he is going through some ghastly changes. It seems his real fathers genetics are awakening and now our young lad with a bad temper and dermatology problem sets out for bloody vengeance against the family that killed his pa.

Though on a basic level it's a simple monster on the loose film, the film still suffers from some major plot issues as many aspects are NEVER explained. First of all why did our youth's mutant pa become a mutant? How does our young fella know the family that killed his pa and all the members? I can't blame Tom Holland's script as the film seems to have had been tinkered with and in the process a lot of the explanations were left on the editing room floor. Apparently, after doing a little research, the beastly transformations have to do with some Native American legend but thanks to the film we, the audience, NEVER know that.

The film is notorious in the horror community, along with "The Howling", for pioneering the use of bladder special effects in transformation scenes... and believe me fans of practicable special effects will get an eye full as our youngster goes through a tremendous transformation into a beast while at a hospital. Fans of gore will also get plenty to sink their teeth into as our beast brutally kills anyone connected with his pa's murder.

Philippe Mora's direction is surprisingly atmospheric and he takes the subject matter far more seriously than one would expect. The moody lighting and the sometimes overbearing score also heighten some of the scares. Still there are still a few unintentional laughs to be had, especially during out youths transformation scene when everyone stares in horror, without out shooting or running. Come on guys, get the fuck out of there! This scene would be wonderfully spoofed by Mora in his film "Howling III."

The cast is top for such a graphic monster romp, headed by Ronny Cox as our loving father, a refreshing role before director Paul Verhoeven got a hold of him and turned him into one of the nastiest villains of all time in "RoboCop" and "Total Recall". Paul Clemens gives a virtuoso performance as the teenager before the transformation by conveying pain and confusion without the aid of makeup and special effects in the first half of the film.

As a gooey, bloody monster flick "The Beast Within" works but it's plot holes that were left on the cutting room's floor and a rushed ending makes this sadly an unsatisfactory film by the end. It's still far better than one would imagine with its surprisingly good direction by Philippe Mora and its strong cast. Definitely worth checking out, especially for fans of practical special effects.
July 8, 2011
(***): Thumbs Up

An entertaining horror flick.
June 22, 2011
Dear movie, you were stupid
½ April 9, 2011
This is my 2nd favorite thing ever that features the phrase, "He's been embalmed... ALIVE!"
March 23, 2011
Silly and utterly ridiculous, the film could've been fun if it hadn't also been so boring.
February 21, 2011
Creepy monster-terror with nasty bladder f/x. Very entertaining and atmospheric. The cast looks like porn-cast which adds a hint of unintentional funnies. Looks impressive upconverted.
½ December 16, 2010
* 1/2 out of 4 stars

Bloody carnage is shown periodically. The killings and the final transformation are sickening and depraved. The plot (full of holes) is very confusing and doesn't make sense, even though the characters attempt to explain the happenings. However, I must say that the acting and even the directing is adequate for this material.
December 7, 2010
Silly horror fun fluff that borrows from HP Lovecraft but isn't based on him. Characters include an undertaker named Dexter Ward and the Curwen family, but aside from names and perhaps a monster vaguely inspired by "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward," this isn't Lovecraftiana.

The story admittedly doesn't make sense on several levels. Why someone who was locked in a basement and force-fed flesh from human corpses should develop the ability to talk to insects and reincarnate in the body of his own offspring is never remotely explained. All we know is that somehow this person, named Billy Conner, turned into a monster, got loose and raped Bibi Besch. Flash forward 17 years and the progeny of this attack is 17 and has some sort of disease... but it isn't a disease. It's his real father taking over his body to get revenge on the members of the family who locked him in the cellar and forced him into cannibalism. Numerous bladders inflate, skin splits, the monster's back and does it again, leaving a very open ending. Some gore and a couple of relatively creative kills in the meanwhile.

"The Beast Within" is quite cheezy and fun if not taken seriously. It will scare no one, but it has enough entertaining moments to be enjoyed by fans of B-grade horror flicks in an MST3K way, at least. The acting ranges from mediocre to laughable; the film is noteworthy, however, for two reasons. First, it was one of the first flicks to use air bladders in horror makeup. Second, it has a cast of supporting actors who also appeared in everything from "Easy Rider" to "Designing Women." On it's own, it's essentially "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" meets "The Bad Seed" meets Roger Corman. Watch and be amazed, amused and get ready to crack wise all over this one!
October 22, 2010
The Beat Within features a promising premise: a woman is raped by an unseen premise and her son almost twenty years later develops a strange, murderous malady. Part Cronenberg body-horror and part early-80s slasher film, The Beast Within features some genuinely brutal moments but never quite coalesces into anything great.
September 2, 2010
Just ok. This is a movie that I ALWAYS wanted to see, but never did. And.. I FINALLY got to see it, and the results are less then spectacular.18 years after a wife is brutally raped by an unknown creature, the offsprring, a boy, is acting irrationally. THEN the parents decide to well, see who the kid's father really is. Nothing they had time to check out beforehand I suppose. Well, you know, the creature is sort of mutating in the kid's body, and soon will burst out. The final 20 mins features much inflatable appliance makeup, and is sort of interesting, but the rest of it is sort of blah, if you ask me. Could have been so much more.
½ May 15, 2010
Horror film about the offspring of a woman that was raped by sort of creature in the swamp. Once grown up the teen goes through changes where he becomes a cannibalistic beast and the bloodshed begins. Lots of good gross out gore accompanied by that cool 80's horror feel.
Super Reviewer
½ September 14, 2009
Not good. Stupid story, horribly executed.

½ September 11, 2009
This cover allways stood apart for me. I don'y know why, exactly, but something about it has always drew me in. Unfortunately there is nothing special about it untill the final transphormation sequance, one of the best I have ever seen. Realy remarkable.
½ July 5, 2009
Despite the promising title and the transforming high school jock (for the
record, the original cover for the theatrical release and direct to video
were much better) this movie really does suck and badly.

As far as the plot goes let's see... couple gets a flat tire, wife gets raped
by a big thing, her son starts having health problems, eventually turning
into what his "father" was, a beast.

The ending is no less bad than the beginning film. In fact, the utter
incompetence of the characters in the film is mind-blowing. They could
have helped this kid, but for the entire movie...yeah, epic failure.

The kid himself is a terrible actor, so when he struggles with his body
eventually changing him into the monster, there's no attachment, much
less sentiment felt by we the audience for this character. And that right
there spells failure on the film's part.

Also, this is one very very boring movie. Ya know, if a horror film is gonna
suck, at least be mildly entertaining. Unfortunately, this movie fails to do
even that right.

As for his eventual transformation? Disappointing as all kinds of hell. It's
not even good by classic 60's transformation standards. If you want an
even worse comparison, his true form looks crappier than anything
spawned from a Power Ranger show.

Stay away from this one. Far far away.
½ June 4, 2009
Delivers a good build up to the inevitable grotesque transformation where the beast within emerges. It was worth the wait. Top notch make up. I thought the star, Paul Clemens, had tourrette's after guest spots on Quincy M.E. but I guess not.
½ June 4, 2009
Ronny Cox' bastard son becomes a monstrous cicada-man. Until then I thought it was a werewolf movie
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