Beast (2022) Review: Examining Idris Elba’s Riveting Performance

Movie Bunker Score:


Release: 2022-08-11Genre: ThrillerDuration: 93 minsBudget: $ 0

A recently widowed man and his two teenage daughters travel to a game reserve in South Africa. However, their journey of healing soon turns into a fight for survival when a bloodthirsty lion starts to stalk them.


Release: 2022-08-11Genre: ThrillerDuration: 93 minsBudget: $ 0

A recently widowed man and his two teenage daughters travel to a game reserve in South Africa. However, their journey of healing soon turns into a fight for survival when a bloodthirsty lion starts to stalk them.

Beast: A Lackluster Animal-Horror Thriller

B-movie Aesthetics: A Double-Edged Sword

When it comes to filmmakers making their debut in the industry, some opt for B-movie aesthetics, reminiscent of the low-budget Grindhouse flicks from the past. The legendary filmmaker Roger Corman, known as “The Pope of Pop Cinema,” paved the way for directors like Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese by restricting their creativity and emphasizing the importance of restraint. However, while many aspire to capture the essence of Corman’s films, they often fall short by relying too heavily on the polished Hollywood style. Baltasar Kormakur, known for movies like “Everest” and “2 Guns,” takes a stab at animal horror with “Beast,” but unfortunately, his vision lacks inspiration and fails to live up to its B-movie potential.

The Plot: Straight to the Chase

“Beast” revolves around Dr. Nate Daniels (Idris Elba) and his daughters, Norah (Leah Jeffries) and Meredith (Iyana Halley), who find themselves trapped in a South African reserve, stalked by a bloodthirsty lion. The film’s plot is simple and concise, which could either work in its favor or against it. To engage the audience, Kormakur relies heavily on horror-action sequences and the development of characters that we can root for. The movie kicks off with a thrilling scene that sets the stage for a rogue animal hunting humans. Illegal hunters face off against the lion, establishing a “hunter becomes the hunted” scenario. However, the initial excitement tapers off as the film transitions into character backstory, only to abruptly shift back to the jungle to deliver the lion action the audience craves.

An Immersive and Tense Experience

It must be acknowledged that “Beast” does succeed in delivering on its promises. The first sequence involving the lion, shot in a way to create a sense of entrapment, manages to make the audience fear for the characters’ lives. Through the use of long takes and minimal editing, Kormakur maintains a sense of claustrophobia, as the camera skillfully navigates the vast reserve. The tension gradually builds up, leading to an expected but climactic one-on-one confrontation between man and beast. The gripping moments created in these sequences showcase the film’s potential.

A Downhill Slide and Missed Opportunities

Unfortunately, after the initial adrenaline rush, “Beast” quickly loses its momentum. The subsequent sequences lack the suspense and entertainment value one would expect from a horror film. Compounded by the characters’ consistently poor decision-making, the movie takes a turn for the worse. Their actions are so ridiculously illogical that it becomes frustrating to watch. While tropes have their place in the genre, “Beast” fails to execute them effectively due to weak setups for its animal horror thrills.

Unconvincing Visual Effects

A notable drawback for “Beast” lies in its visual effects. The portrayal of the lion feels wobbly and unrealistic, reminiscent of the werewolves in the Twilight franchise. This issue significantly impacts the film’s ability to immerse the audience in its horrors. In a horror movie, the antagonist should instill fear in the hearts of viewers, but if it appears blatantly unrealistic, that sense of fear dissipates. This flaw somewhat mirrors the problem faced by Dan Trachtenberg’s “Prey,” where the visual effects of the predator and animals appeared shaky and flimsy, momentarily detaching the audience from the experience. However, “Prey” managed to compensate with proper scares and tension, unlike “Beast,” where the underwhelming visual effects detract from the overall impact.

A Missed Opportunity for Genre-Filmmaking

“Beast” had the potential to offer an authentic B-movie experience, much like the successful “Piranha 3D” which achieved profitability without the need for excessive production costs. While “Beast” maintains a Hollywood gloss, the genre-filmmaking grittiness it initially captured gets lost in the process. Idris Elba’s strong performance carries the dramatic scenes to some extent, but it can’t salvage a feature that fails to deliver engaging thrills in an innovative manner.


In conclusion, “Beast” falls short of its potential as an animal-horror thriller. Despite incorporating B-movie aesthetics and relying on Idris Elba’s acting prowess, the lack of inspiration in Baltasar Kormakur’s vision leaves the film feeling lackluster. While it does deliver in terms of some immersive sequences and tense moments, the overall execution fails to captivate the audience. Weak character decisions, unconvincing visual effects, and a missed opportunity to embrace genre-filmmaking contribute to the film’s downfall.


1. Is “Beast” a purely horror film or does it have other elements?

“Beast” primarily falls into the horror genre, specifically animal horror. However, it also incorporates elements of action and thriller genres to keep the audience engaged.

2. Does Idris Elba’s performance stand out in “Beast”?

Idris Elba’s performance in “Beast” is commendable, as he brings his signature dramatic flair to the role of Dr. Nate Daniels. His presence adds weight to certain scenes and enhances the overall viewing experience.

3. How does “Beast” compare to other animal-horror films?

While “Beast” has its moments of tension and intensity, it falls short compared to other notable animal-horror films. The lack of suspense and uninspiring execution prevents it from standing out among its genre counterparts.

4. Are there any standout supporting performances in “Beast”?

While Idris Elba takes the spotlight in “Beast,” the supporting cast, including Leah Jeffries and Iyana Halley, deliver solid performances in their respective roles. They contribute to the overall dynamics of the film and add depth to the character interactions.

5. Will “Beast” appeal to fans of B-movie aesthetics?

“Beast” may disappoint fans hoping for a true B-movie experience. While it incorporates certain elements reminiscent of B-movies, it ultimately falls short of fully embracing the gritty charm and captivating storytelling often associated with the genre.