Monsters prowl the English countryside in Beast and although they may be of the human variety, their bite is no less savage. In this blistering feature debut from award-winning short filmmaker Michael Pearce, fairy tale romance and horrific true crime collide over the course of one sweltering Jersey summer and, for flame-haired protagonist Moll (Jessie Buckley), life will never be the same again.
While seemingly at opposite ends of the emotional spectrum, horror and comedy can make for extremely comfortable bedfellows. Laughter and terror are two of the most visceral responses a filmmaker can hope to elicit from an audience and, when traversed correctly, the ground between them can prove dramatically fertile.
Awards season is traditionally the time for filmmakers to get their teeth into the meaty issues that they hope will draw the admiring gaze of audiences and voting committees alike. Concussion follows the established playbook to such a degree that it turns an incendiary story – an exposé that struck at the heart of America’s national sport, first detailed in GQ article ‘Game Brain’ by Jeanne Marie Laskas – into something of a damp squib.