The 1970s were all about revenge movies. The remakes of I Spit on Your Grave and The Last House on the Left are two prime examples that the genre that is making a resurgence in a big way. I saw the trailer for Animalistic and the female warrior inside myself knew that I had to see this. It looked like one hell of a ride, and turns out that I was right.
Animalistic (also known as We Are Monsters) comes from Sweden from the creators of Wither. It was directed and written by Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich‘s (2018) Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund with additional writing from David Liljeblad. It follows Emma (Hanna Oldenburg), a representative from an oil company in Australia that traveled to the U.S. to sign a controversial oil deal. She gets drugged by her taxi driver, Shirley (Niki Nordenskjold), and is taken to a secluded woods home inhabited by Jim (Ralf Beck) and Pete (Torbjorn Andersson). There they do terrible things to her for fun, until she decides enough is enough and fights back.
Olderburg is PHENOMENAL in Animalistic. Some may argue that the premise is stale, but I found this movie very engaging. The performances of Oldenburg and Beck are so realistic that, the farther into the movie it got, the more disturbed I was watching it. Beck perfectly portrayed the part of a sadistic psychopath who also feels things, which is a very different concept indeed. The best part of Oldenburg’s performance was her ability to portray so much without saying anything. When she had to do monstrous things after so much was done to her, you could see her anger and then the disgust and horror at what she’d done with her own hands.
The movie isn’t perfect by any means. Although it is set in America, everyone has Swedish accents, and the acting by the supporting actors pales in comparison to that of the leads. The ending decisions don’t necessarily make a ton of sense, but other than that, I don’t have anything negative to say about the movie. Even the effects were spot on and realistic. I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Even though it came out in 2015, it is now available on DVD and digital. I highly recommend this movie. Though the revenge plot premise has been done and overdone and the oil deal B-story is pretty lame, Animalistic was one of the good ones.