Beasts of the Field
Chase Dudley, Samantha Dudley, George Robert Bailey (executive) for A Cut To The Chase Productions, Mystery Vision
directed by Chase Dudley
starring Gregory Blair, Amber Dawn Fox, Ashley Mary Nunes, Tory L. Beckham, Savannah Schafer, Patrick Alred, Keith Nicholson, Erik Kyr
written by Brentt Slabchuck, Gregory Blair, music by Erik Kyr
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Cryptozoologist couple Lester (Gregory Blair) and Clarissa (Amber Dawn
Fox) want to monetize their expertise - in a TV show no less, with him as
the expert and her as the presenter. But when the bank refuses to loan
them any money for the pilot, they band together a ragtag team to set out
into the wild of Kentucky to prove the existence of the legendary
Thunderbird, a creature most likely related to the prehistoric Pteranodon.
And they don't let anything deter them, not that they're just not made for
hiking and camping, not that their "intern" Kyra (Ashley Mary
Nunes) seems to know quite a bit more about biology than Lester, not that
their camera crew Horty (Tory L. Beckham) and Reid (Savannah Schafer) are
more at home at wedding videos than nature documentaries, not that their
war veteran field medic James (Patrick Alred) suffers from PTSD and not
that their guide Bigby (Keith Nicholson) is a bit too quick with the gun.
Of course, the whole expedition goes haywire soon enough, as not only does
Clarissa throw diva fit after diva fit, but also Horty and Reid break
their camera in an effort to fake a drone shot, then Reid gets killed by a
bear - which Lester interprets as proof the Thunderbird's nearby -,
then Bigby snaps and shows his true (homicidal) colours, and soon the
whole thing falls apart as morale erodes and tension rises to lethal
proportions - and within all this, Lester's still convinced he'll find
proof of the Thunderbird's existence ...
Now this is nothing if
not fun, as despite its thriller structure, this film plays it tongue in
cheek, but at the same time never lets the comedic and parodistic aspects
of the story stand in the way of terror and suspense. And this approach
works, too, thanks to a steady pace, dynamic direction, an on-point cast
playing suitably colourful characters, and of course the wonderful outdoor
locations that lend the film its wonderfully eerie atmosphere.