Beaten To Death: Review

Beaten To Death: Review

Every now and then we get a movie that lives up to the promise of its title, such as Everything Everywhere All At Once, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, and others. These films promise a lot with their titles and then deliver on the goods with hardly any missteps from beginning to end. The Australian horror picture Beaten To Death certainly lives up to the promise of its title and then some. And man, oh man, is this a bloody good time at the movies.

Written by Sam Curtain & Benjamin Jung-Clarke and directed by Curtain (The Slaughterhouse Killer, Blood Hunt), Beaten To Death follows the gruesome and shocking beating of Jack, played by Thomas Roach (who also starred in Blood Hunt), an unassuming man who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people in the Australian Outback.

It unfolds in a non-linear way, bouncing back and forth with the past and present, as it presents more and more information about this mysterious man, how he got himself and his dead wife Rachel, played by Nicole Tudor, into this situation, and if he’ll survive long enough to get through it all and find safety. Spoiler alert just based on its title, but he doesn’t.

In the grand tradition of Australian exploitation movies, including Wake In Fright, Razorbacks, Patrick, Mad Max, and others, Beaten To Death has a simple premise — one man’s survival in the criminal underground with people who live on the outskirts of society — that’s explored to its most logical conclusion — it doesn’t end well for anyone. 

While the film is loaded with bloody and brutal violence, it presents it in such a well-crafted piece of genre cinema. Director Curtain has such a strong command of the camera and editing that really feels artful and considered. The audience is placed into Jack’s outlook for survival that he overcomes so much for revenge. It’s almost as if violence places you in a dark place where you’ll do anything just to live and find safety — even kill.

In addition, the Outback gives it a sense of place, as a number of make-shift and dingy homes make up the backdrop. And with long stretches of wilderness, as Jack travels through rough landscapes, it feels that not only a backwoods family (also known as ​​“bogans” in Australia) is out to kill him, but also Mother Nature. 

Meanwhile, it’s a harsh, dark, and ugly film, in terms of subject matter, but photographed and edited with immaculate and sharp detail that make it hard to turn away from the screen, despite all the brutality on display. Curtain has a good eye for genre filmmaking. Beaten To Death is sadistic, gruesome, and smartly made and constructed, while it really pushes the limits of brutality in cinema. But beware, this movie isn’t for everyone, but the title alone is a warning to a potential audience.

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Rudie Obias lives in Brooklyn, New York. He’s a writer and editor who is interested in cinema, pop culture, music, NBA basketball, science fiction, and web culture. His work can be found at IGN, Fandom, TV Guide, Metacritic, Yahoo!, Battleship Pretension, Mashable, Mental Floss, and of course, BRWC.


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