Dawn of the Beast starts with an opening crawl befitting a bloody horror movie about Bigfoot. Mysterious woods, legendary creature, and a period known as the Dead Month are all explained. This is not going to be just another shaky cam hunt for some sasquatch. When Dr. Dennis Kasdan leads a group of grad students into the dangerous area, they encounter more than they expected, however.
The cold open is typical horror movie stuff that sets a standard for the movie. It is very familiar, yet something about the pacing seems a little off. It is not particularly long and yet it still seems to drag. This is common throughout Dawn of the Beast. The script constantly follows tropes. From the shopkeeper who warns the group before they head out to the decision to wander off the trail, Dawn of the Beast never surprises the audience. This is not a bad thing for a horror movie – usually it is part of the charm. But for some reason, things just seem to move a little too slow.
Dawn of the Beast is not just a Bigfoot movie, however. In what could be a fun addition, the plot introduces The Wendigo. On the heels of Godzilla vs. Bigfoot, a film about a battle between two iconic cryptids may be more appreciated than usual. Even better, the big battle does not disappoint. The creatures look great and the special effects in Dawn of the Beast look good for the most part. There are also some impressive gore to add to the fun.
Dawn of the Beast does an excellent job of playing to its strengths. While the character development is lacking, the scares are well delivered. The battles are exciting and there are some brutal kills. It is a nice bookend to the other big monster battle in theaters.
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