Dawn of the Beast (2021)

poster crop shot
Bigfoot roars!
Bigfoot roars!

Students travel into an area of wilderness in search of Bigfoot, but eventually discover there is also a dangerous supernatural spirit known as the Wendigo lurking here… and this antlered, evil presence has the power to turn people into hairless, humanoid creatures.

'The legends are real... and they kill'
‘The legends are real… and they kill’
The Bigfoot is behind you...
The Bigfoot is behind you…
One of the Wendigo's creatures
One of the Wendigo’s creatures
Skewered on a tree
Skewered on a tree

Director Bruce Wemple’s previous film, THE RETREAT (2020), also featured the Wendigo and its hairless minion creatures, but DAWN OF THE BEAST is more entertaining and manages to add more tension to its scenes compared to the previous flick, which shares some of the same actors.
(Oh, and Wemple ALSO made the Bigfoot movie MONSTROUS in 2020).

Shadow of the Wendigo...
Shadow of the Wendigo…

This film is far from perfect, though, with a fuzziness concerning just how the Wendigo affects its victims: some become glowing-eyed, smooth-skinned creatures, whilst others remain people resembling possessed deadites from the Evil Dead movies.
And I didn’t like the early scene where the group come across an old corpse, which they decide to ignore because it would ruin their weekend! When people make such unrealistic, stupid decisions it can really pull you out of the film.

One of the characters goes very 'Evil Dead'...
One of the characters goes very ‘Evil Dead’…

But DAWN OF THE BEAST does have a standout moment: a third act scene where we see Bigfoot fight and kill a bunch of the Wendigo’s creatures in the woods, accompanied by a cool synth score! Nice!
I do like the fact Bigfoot really kicks these creatures asses! Go Bigfoot!

A creature gets ready to fight Bigfoot
A creature gets ready to fight Bigfoot
Bigfoot gets covered in the blood of the creatures he's killing
Bigfoot gets covered in the blood of the creatures he’s killing
The protagonist watches the creatures fight
The protagonist watches the creatures fight
The Wendigo
The Wendigo
Bigfoot
Bigfoot

I was also surprised when the feisty female character Lilly (Anna Shields – also the writer the script), who I thought was going to end up being the movie’s ass-kicking ‘final girl’, gets her arm ripped off and she is killed!

I wasn’t expecting this!

 Lilly gets her arm torn off!
Lilly gets her arm torn off!
Creatures caught in the torchlight
Creatures caught in the torchlight
One more shot of Bigfoot roaring
One more shot of Bigfoot roaring

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