The Beast Within is a fun little horror-thriller featuring fine performances from Ronny Cox, Paul Clemens and L.Q. Jones.
Genre(s): Horror, Thriller
Shout Factory | R – 98 min. – $19.97 | December 17, 2013
Directed by: Philippe Mora
Writer(s): Edward Levy (novel); Tom Holland (screen story and screenplay)
Cast: Ronny Cox, Bibi Besch, Paul Clemens, Don Gordon
Theatrical Release Date: February 12, 1982
Features: 2 Audio Commentaries, Theatrical Trailer
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA Stereo)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Disc Size: 21.8 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Plot Synopsis: A teenager is experiencing growing pains of a most shocking kind of this story of a human-into monster transformation.
18-year-old Michael MacCleary (PAUL CLEMENS) – the progeny of an unholy union between his mother and a swamp beast – is on the verge of becoming a man. And as the inherited evil in his blood gnaws at his soul, Michael must return to the swamp to uncover the terrifying indentity of his father – before his nasty natural tendencies force him to feed on the locals.
The Beast Within also features fine performances from Ronny Cox and Bibi Besch as Michael’s adoptive parents and L.Q. Jones as the tough-as-nails town sheriff. The movie is typical 1980s horror but has a quant entertainment to it and well worth it for fans of the genre.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5
Not much here except for two Audio Commentary tracks, the first with Director Philippe Mora Actor Paul Clemens and the second featuring Writer Tom Holland. Both tracks have value but I enjoyed the second given there are two participants to bounce off one another.
Theatrical Trailer (1:28) and Radio Spots (1:03)
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Arriving on Blu-ray courtesy of Shout Factory, The Beast Within is presented in its original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. With these kinds of movies, you don’t know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised with the job done. The video offers excellent detail levels throughout and even darker scenes are nice and stark without appearing to have been touched with DNR. There is some natural grain but it’s nothing overly abundant or distracting. Colors go on the darker realm even during the daylight scenes but presumably that was done by design from the director and DP.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo track also is relatively impressive. Dialogue levels come through quite nicely with crispness and clarity although the other element, in the horror-thriller realm, is a bit flatter and not as dynamic. This lossless track might not be anything incredible, but it is more than serviceable especially considering the source material.
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, The Beast Within is a fun little horror-thriller featuring fine performances from Ronny Cox, Paul Clemens and L.Q. Jones. The Blu-ray released by Shout Factory might be light on substantive features but the two commentary tracks were definitely nice while the audio/video transfers are both top notch and easily an upgrade over the older DVD releases.