What is Beaten To Death about?
Beaten To Death follows Jack (Thomas Roach) and his partner Rachel (Nicole Tudor), a desperate pair who need to do something drastic in order to get out of their current situation. However, their desperate plan backfires horrifically, leaving Rachel seemingly dead and Jack beaten to a pulp. Stuck in the middle of the Australian outback, in a place he doesn’t know, Jack must try to summon all his strength in order to try and get to safety before he can be caught and put through another brutal beating, or something much, much worse.
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Beaten To Death Review
Beaten To Death is one of the most depressingly brutal horror films you’re going to find, and it knows that. From the very first moment, Beaten To Death assaults not only Jack but the audience with the undeniable intense brutality that’s going to be the main theme for the remainder of the film. With a minimal cast and a vast outback wasteland location to play in, there’s no time here for hope or joy, this film is here to grab a hold of your still beating heart and slowly tear it out over the course of its runtime.
For the vast bulk of Beaten to Death, it’s a one-man show by the undeniable Thomas Roach who manages to deliver a gloriously captivating and emotional performance. This is someone being put through their paces and forced to draw from the extreme depths of their soul and he does so stunningly. Imagine the final chase sequence of any horror film where the last possible victim is desperately trying to escape the killer, always a high-intensity performance… Thomas does that for an hour and a half and manages to plunge the valleys and climb the peaks of emotion in a way that keeps things from becoming too repetitive.
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While most of the emotional gut-punch and horror comes from the complete commitment of the main performance, it also helps that the film uses the setting of the outback to absolute perfection. Aussie horror films that use the outback always have the added fear of just never quite knowing where you are, it’s such a vast land of dirt that it’s easy to get lost and Beaten To Death uses that to its advantage, playing the audience like a fiddle by making them so sure that certain characters are safe before just moving the camera ever so slightly and showing just how fucked they are.
The way that the emotional journey in Beaten To Death is set up is also just undeniably perfect, letting the audience well in the pits of worry before giving brief moments of hope, like a gift from god only to have that hope be torn away and more brutal torture unloaded. It never quite crosses the line of “Oh no way does he survive this” but it tiptoes right up to the edge and every chance it has to get closer to that feeling, it will and it looks fantastic while doing it (seriously, the makeup effects for this are intense as hell and really just make you feel dirty while watching it).
The one big downside to a 90-minute movie that largely follows one person being tormented in assorted ways (AKA a very basic description of Beaten To Death) is that there are inevitably a few moments that drag just a little bit.
Most of these are parts where our main character is running through the outback and to be fair to the film, those moments are also kind of essential to show how vast the land is and how completely screwed our protagonist actually is… but being essential doesn’t change the fact that those are the moments when the film drops momentum and can briefly lose the audience. Sure, it’ll get that audience back pretty quickly but just stick with it in those down moments, it’s worth it.
Beaten To Death Overall
Beaten To Death is a dark powerful horror film that will drag the audience through the dirt by their hair and kick you in the ribs just to make sure it does some damage, and it does it all exquisitely. It’s one of the more intense horror films out there and you will definitely feel the harshness of it overwhelming you, but it does all of it so well that it cannot be denied as a genuinely great bit of Aussie horror.
What did you think of Beaten To Death?
Beaten To Death showed as part of the A Night Of Horror international film festival at Dendy Cinema Newtown from 17th-23rd October 2022
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