Jan 29, 2022
David Axe, Darien Cavanaugh
Jennifer Hill, Morgan Shaley Renew, Aaron Blomberg, Rachel Petsiavas, Cleve Langdale, Josh Kern, Katie Langdale
An Early Middle Ages dark comedy fantasy horror film based on the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf.
Shot over the course of ten days in South Carolina by a crew and cast that were mostly amateurs, this amusing feature tells a story about a village in Denmark that is regularly attacked by a monster.
That village is called Heorot and it is ruled by Queen Walchtheo (Petsiavas). Every once in a while a few villagers get killed by an entity called Grendel (Kern), which has a human-like appearance, with a red body and a monstrous face. Eventually, a warrior named Beowulf (Hill) and her companions arrive at the village and offer to take care of the problem once and for all. However, things do not go so smoothly.
This is a fun period movie with an intriguing plot, dark humour, interesting characters and it also has moments of brutal violence. The humour focuses on dialogue and situations where people act childishly and do not take things seriously.
The mise-en-scene is rather creative and it successfully brings the audience back to approximately 500 A.D., when the story takes place. Credit goes to Haley Runa Strehl and Mike Amason, who worked on the costumes, making them look like Middle Ages clothing. The cast are convincing enough as they are dressed in their period clothes and have paint on their faces. The weapons and buildings also look great.
Regarding the characters, it is Grendel and his mother that steal the show, primarily because they are supernatural beings. Although they are both quite deadly, they also have feelings and can get emotional. Other characters include Walchtheo's courageous daughter, Princess Freawaru (Renew), a scribe named Shaper (Langdale), who does a great deal of writing throughout the film and Beowulf, who, contrary to the poem, is a woman. The heroes work and clash with each other as they try to deal with the creatures that threaten Heorot.
Gauge Santiago and Matt Akers do an interesting job with the score, making it sound dramatic and beautiful and there is also electronic music. The filmmakers utilise creative lighting techniques.
This movie was filmed on a tight budget, therefore one should not expect terrific special effects and the acting is not superb. Nevertheless, this is still an enjoyable experience.