Behemoth Review

There are only so many monster thrillers one can stomach, and if the movie is not done right, it’s just laughable. But I guess Behemoth is alright for a made-for-TV movie. SyFy follows the formula they’re best at, creating yet another potentially apocalyptic tale. We enter the town of Assention, a small town at the foot of a mountain. Cue sinister music. Begin chase scene. Enter man in black running from danger, only to meet his demise and leave a mysterious black case that must contain something so important we’ll certainly return to it later.

Cut to rugged handsome construction man Thomas (Ed Quinn), who will clearly be the one to save the day. When one of Thomas’ workers mysteriously dies, he begins to realize things are amiss. His suspicions are confirmed when he runs into his ex-girlfriend, Emily, a geologist who has returned to her hometown to study the recent tremors around the town. But Emily isn’t the only one with theories.

After his wife’s death, Thomas’ father, Professor Walsh (William B. Davis) became obsessed with the idea that there was something out there, bigger than anyone could imagine, keeping the world in balance. His friends and family all think he’s just lost his mind, but he could never have imaged how right he was. When the town begins to experience regular tremors, Professor Walsh is sure his theories have manifested themselves. The Professor is the best character in the film, a sweet, cute old man who wants nothing more than for the world to be balanced and at peace. While the whole town may think he’s crazy, he’s the only one who sees the truth.

Of course Thomas’ younger sister Grace and her boyfriend Jerrod decide to take a risk and go camping amidst the chaos, walking headfirst into danger. In fact, they are the first to catch of glimpse of the monster, slithering through the mountain, destroying everything in its path. When Thomas realizes Grace is missing, he must save his sister and his town with the help of his ex, Emily. And of course, in the face of death, the two become closer than ever before. As they make their way up the mountain, the creature, the Behemoth, begins to stir.

The special effects in the movie are laughable, which is unfortunate when all you want from a monster movie are awesome visuals. It seems the visual effects team spent all their time on the creature in the film, and neglected the exploding boulder and smoke geysers that pop up periodically. When we finally see the monster, it’s by far the best effect in the movie. Its rises up out of the smoke-drenched mountain, tentacles flailing, mouth roaring, and belly thirsting for blood.

While the visual effects leave something to be desired, the acting is pretty decent for a television movie. Unfortunately the characters aren’t very well developed, but the actors do the best they can to create chemistry on screen. There are some nice moments between characters, and they can all hold their own on screen.

Behemoth is pretty slow-paced, and suspense builds as the story cuts between the action faced by Thomas, Emily and Grace on the mountain, and the Professor’s attempts to survive when he is trapped in town. While it may seem that this is simply a sci-fi movie about a murderous beast that lives in a mountain and wants to destroy the work, at the crux of this story is a much deeper message. As the Professor explains, when society is close to causing its own extinction, something has always stopped it and kept the universe in balance. In this case, it’s the Behemoth, rising up from underground to save earth, destroying those who destroy their habitat, and each other.

DVD Bonus Features

None to speak of for this SyFy original movie.

"Behemoth" is on sale April 5, 2011 and is not rated. Sci-Fi. Directed by David Hogan. Written by Rachelle S. Howie. Starring Cindy Busby, Ed Quinn, Pascale Hutton.

Melissa Kovner • Staff Writer

After graduating from Boston University with a degree in Film & Television, Melissa moved to New York City to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Melissa currently works as an Associate Producer and Production Coordinator for Brooklyn-based video production company Dig For Fire, where she helps create live music entertainment.


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