Written, directed and produced by Peter Dukes comes short independent werewolf film, The Beast.
The Dream Seekers Productions short, running at just 12 minutes long and shot in a single night with a budget of $700, is a perfect example of the brilliance of independent cinema. It showcases that, no matter how limited a filmmaker is in terms of budget and time, if the talent is there to begin with then they can blow big-budget Hollywood features clean out of the water.
The Beast is a werewolf film with a difference, focusing mostly on the emotional struggles of a father whose son is cursed with a lycanthropic affliction. Starring indie horror icon Bill Oberst Jr. (Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies and Take This Lollipop) as the father in question, the film is set in the woods on the night of the full moon. Michel (Bill Oberst Jr.) and his brother Douglas (Peter Le Bas) venture into the woods with an aim of tying Michel’s son Jacob (Alexander Le Bas) to a tree to prevent him from hurting anyone once he has transformed in a werewolf. However, following on from untold months of this, it seems the uncle has come up with another solution to end Jacob’s suffering and keep the town safe.
The plot is simple and, running at only 12 minutes, we’re sure it’s no surprise to hear that it jumps straight into it. It is a storyline that is perfectly suited for a short film and when you combine that with first class acting (from all members of the cast), it absolutely flies. What we at The Horror Hothouse found most intriguing about The Beast is that it focuses on a family member’s struggle with the curse and not the werewolf himself, which very rare with this particular subgenre.
There is a full score, which runs throughout the entire short and some fantastic special effects. Taking that into consideration along with the fantastic camera and post-production work, it is simply astonishing to know just how small the budget was. This short is oozing with atmosphere and has a real old school horror vibe, putting us in mind of classic werewolf films from decades past.
Next step for Dukes? As one of the most promising independent filmmakers we’ve had the pleasure of seeing work from in a while, we’ve got our hearts set on a full-length feature.
Watch The Beast below…