Beaten to Death Review

Beaten to Death
Beaten to Death
Home » Blogs » Beaten to Death Review

Aussie shocker Beaten to Death may be the most “torture porn” film in recent memory. A certain type of buff might consider this a ringing endorsement: Finally, a return to the excruciatingly extreme horror of the 2000s, when movies such as Hostel, The Devil’s Rejects, and the infamous Martyrs were pushing the envelope on violence and depravity, exposing humanity’s capacity for causing pain. However, those films also had plots and characters and in some instances even genuine ideas between their graphic representations of bodily harm. Not so with Beaten to Death. It is an experiment to see how much drawn-out agony can be inflicted on an audience without either context or narrative justification or point. This reminds me of Luke Wilson’s big speech in Idiocracy: There was a time when we cared whose eyes they were and why they were being gouged.

The movie starts in media res with Jack (Thomas Roach) wandering alone across a hostile wilderness bloodied all over. Before you can think about how he got there it starts answering that question by flashing back 48 hours earlier & finding the same unlucky guy receiving a brutal beating while his wife (Nicole Tudor) lies dead on the floor of another room; a monster who takes breaks during his attack just long enough to deliver a monologue about hazarding weaklings at military; this fascinating story is closest thing film ever gets to character development.

Jack would temporarily elude fate, as indicated by the title. But his nightmare is only just beginning out in the sticks. When he seeks support from someone else, he knocks at the wrong door landing himself in a worse situation full of unbearable pain & mutilation than before. Sam Curtain, writer-director has one ingenious horrific trick up his sleeve- a nightmarish perspective shot that plunges viewers into literal and metaphorical darkness. Following this are mostly prolonged scenes involving Roach walking through nature while shouting in frustration intermittently disrupted by the periodic sadistic worsening of his character’s predicament.

The thing is we never really get to know Jack. He does not have any distinguishing features or personality traits. It was wise for Wolf Creek, which this fellow Outback odyssey clearly owes a significant debt of influence to, that it took its time in getting us fond of those poor lambs before they went to the slaughterhouse. Beaten to Death dives right into the mincing machine with barely few sparse flashbacks giving us almost nothing about who these animals are and whose miserable ordeal we are being treated to so extensively.

The beatifically lighted acoustic serenade in a coffee shop, one of these little pieces of background, has an insidiously godly feel. This is very much in line with the kind of biblical tortures that are visited upon the film’s scapegoat protagonist. If Jesus was just some guy, Beaten to Death might look like The Passion of the Christ. Is Jack suffering due to his sins or someone else’s? As for what exactly, he did to deserve such an ass-whooping as it probably does not become any more intriguing than this. Once it comes at last, its answer would be incredibly anticlimactic; nothing could have been less insulting than no explanation whatsoever compared to this poorly drawn-out impression of crime-doesn’t-pay moral.

If Curtain’s nonlinear construction didn’t always break tension and completely kill momentum then maybe all of this could have worked as sheer experiential horror—a Naked Prey-like immersive survival thriller. Similarly, there is a way that dark humor could have still been squeezed out from the material – Jack’s luck is so horrifically and almost cosmically bad as to be absurdly comic. Unfortunately, there is no sense of humor in Beaten to Death at all. It remains unflinchingly serious even melodramatic: Every scene where Jack goes about weeping and walking alone comes with a mournful piano score while “poetic” shots of skies and grasses flicker by in desaturated digital cinematography. On occasion, however, the movie becomes unintentionally funny when David Tracy playing a second tormentor (David Tracy) wails over his death saying ‘He was better than us!’

Beaten to Death resides on such high pretentiousness that it only serves as a reminder of what an unnecessary drag this movie actually is. The best horror films are usually hard to stomach yet unexpectedly profound in their own right. Instead, this one keeps pounding our heads for about 90 minutes, thinking that something profound about human existence might emerge from its ceaseless and monotonous unpleasantness. Whether Jack’s will to live is stronger than his fear of pain is the only question it eventually poses. Luckily, viewers have a much easier decision to make: putting an end to his suffering and ours is as simple as clicking “stop” or never pressing “play” at all.


Another relentlessly brutal horror film of physical and psychological suffering that comes from the land which gave us Wolf Creek, except this one barely even pretends to tell a story or develop characters; it’s just ninety-two minutes of tediously gratuitous pain that makes you feel like you owe any movie ever called “torture porn” an apology. Some of the more gory moments might be appreciated by hardcore genre fans but they would also probably agree on the fact that given its title Beaten to Death should not be so drearily maudlin.

Also, Read On Fmovies

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *