The Beast Must Die (1974) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Paul Annett
Producers: John Dark, Max Rosenberg, Milton Subotsky
Writers: Michael Winder
Date Released: April 22, 1974
Calvin Lockhart as Tom Newcliffe
Peter Cushing as Professor Christopher Lundgren
Marlene Clark as Caroline Newcliffe
Charles Gray as Arthur Bennington
Anton Diffring as Pavel
Ciaran Madden as Davina
Tom Chadbon as Paul Foote
Michael Gambon as Jan Jarmokowski
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about a rich man, Tom, who invited 5 guests to his mansion with the firm belief that one of them is a werewolf. He was obsessed with the idea of killing the werewolf that he even set up cameras and radars around his estate. With 3 nights of the full moon, there were series of tests to see who will be revealed as the monster. They all failed the series of tests and several people, including a dog, already died. On the last night of the full moon, the guests were asked to put a silver bullet in their mouths to finally reveal the real killer. With the unexpected turn of events, it is up to Tom to finish this hunting game and put an end to the werewolf.
Though this movie is about a werewolf, there were no scenes involving actual attacks. There were a few bites here and there, and the most notable ones include the dead assistant in the destroyed surveillance room, the dog and wolf fight, the dead pilot, the dead diplomat, and the artist’s slashed throat.
The Grave Review
This movie is quite unique because of an interactive segment. The opening message informs the audiences that it is a detective movie and they will have a time to guess the killer towards the end after all clues have been presented.
True enough, towards the last 10 minutes of the movie, there was a “werewolf break” where audiences were given 30 seconds to give their guess as to who the werewolf could be, with which the revelation followed.
Aside from that, another interesting take on a werewolf movie is the idea of making it into a mystery. In fact, it may seem reminiscent of Agatha Christie mysteries where there are multiple suspects and the killer can only be distinguished through a series of tests.
The good thing they did in this movie was the focus on each of the characters and how they react to the werewolf tests. All of them exhibited behaviors that would make them the killer so it was hard to guess when they seemed guilty. Thanks to their great acting skills and the movie’s camerawork.
The only problem was because it was too focused on the mystery of the werewolf’s identity, it lacked real horror. There were no scary transformations, no actual attack scenes, and the wolf was even small. There were also a lot of night scenes which were obviously shot in daylight and just darkened the effects. All the chase scenes, whether car chase or on foot in the woods, were too long and made it dragging.
Another thing that was lacking was a detailed explanation of how Tom invited the guests and why he was so sure about their werewolf identity. A short scene only mentioned deaths related to them in passing. A backstory of his obsession with werewolves would have been a good idea in order to understand where he is coming from.
Overall, this movie is recommended for fans of the werewolf genre and anyone who loves solving mysteries.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Beast Must Die (1974) three graves out of five graves.
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