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Animal Among Us - Movie Review

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Animal Among Us

This is a story about a monster.  

If you are reading this, you might feel that, in a horror movie like this one, that much is clear, but just what kind of monster is the real subject of this horror flick.  With a hillside camp setting and a domestic betrayal of trust, the hairy monster at the heart of director John Woodruff’s highly-anticipated horror throwback, Animal Among Us, could be lurking anywhere.

"Blood reigns supreme here, but a steady eye will also reveal that all this bloodletting is leading to something pretty severe"


And the monster in this flick is doing exactly that.  From the shadows in the cabins to the shadows under the trees, the attacks here are shocking and brutal and, fortunately, they leave a lot of arms and legs scattered about, littering the camp area like leaves.  Blood reigns supreme here, but a steady eye will also reveal that all this bloodletting is leading to something pretty severe . . . and it might be more human than human.

Starring Christian Oliver (Sense8, House of Good & Evil) and Larisa Oleynik (Mad Men, 10 Things I Hate About You), Animal Among Us gets most of its infected bite from its location at Merrymaker Campgrounds before twisting us up with all sorts of possibilities.  Here, among the camp counselors hellbent to reopen some pretty cursed grounds, we have an intense opening that sees a Squatcher trying to break in to the grounds to see what he can find from an attack that is now apart of the areas legends.

Fifteen years ago, two teenage girls were murdered at Merrymaker Campgrounds. The case was filed as an animal attack, the camp was condemned, and the killer was never found. But something horrific still waits in those woods, ready to kill again and, as they say, the truth will out.  Here it begins with the squatcher, but where it ends is definitely going to be anybody's guess as more and more layers are peeled back from this story within a story.  

Co-starring Don Frye, Christine Donlon, Jonathan Murphy, Erin Daniels, Heather Tom, Jasmine Dustin, and Whitney Davis, Animal Among Us might be about the tall and the hairy things out in the wilderness just waiting to attack, but it is also cleverly plotted to turn a twist on its audience who, knee-deep in a film about a rumored Bigfoot, we get the wool pulled over our eyes in a completely satisfying way . . . and that’s because writer Roland Baumgarner (Oliver) can’t keep his hands to himself when his curiosity gets the best of him. Animal Among Us

Written by Johnathan Murphy (who also stars as the reporter here), Animal Among Us has great practical effects and features an electronic score from Michael Plaster and Alexander Taylor that is hard-hitting but so good at establishing atmosphere on a limited budget.  It is pulsating when it needs to be and helps to create a sense of dread when the hopelessness of the situation washes over the audience.  

If you are craving some midnight snacks, try the limbs strewn about here. If you also crave an unsettling ending, then this right here is your jam.  Look no further than right here at the Animal Among Us.  It might not hit all the horror highs you’ll want or expect from a horror film, but when the truth is uncovered, well, there will be hell to pay.  Secrets, as they say, don’t make friends and here, well, they damn near kill.

Friday the 13th meets Dog Soldiers in Animal Among Us, available on VOD and DVD November 19 from Uncork’d Entertainment.

3/5 stars

Animal Among Us

Blu-ray

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Animal Among Us

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
90 mins
Director
: John Woodruff
Writer:
Jonathan Murphy
Cast:
Larisa Oleynik, Erin Daniels, Heather Tom
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
This is a story about a monster.
Memorable Movie Quote: "So this is where it all happened."
Distributor:
Uncork'd Entertainment
Official Site: https://www.facebook.com/animalamongus?bookmark_t=page
Release Date:
November 19, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: Famous for a savage murder 15 years ago and central setting of Roland Baumgarner's contentious best seller The Merry Maker Murderer-- in two days, MerryMaker Camp officially re-opens... but something BIG... is still lurking in those woods...

Animal Among Us

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