(director/writer: Sam Curtain; screenwriter: Benjamin Jung-Clarke; cinematographer: Sam Curtain; editor: Sam Curtain;  cast: Thomas Roach (Jack), David Tracy (Ned), Justan Wagner (Ricky), Nicole Tudor (Rachel), David Cutain (Jack’s Dad), Elaine Curtain (Jack’s mum); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Libby Jessup/Benjamin Jung-Clarke/Thomas Roach/Sam Curtain; Welcome Villain films; 2022-Australia)

“A bloody thriller that lives up to its depraved title.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Aussie filmmaker Sam Curtain’s (“Blood Hunt”/”The Slaughterhouse Killer”) films a bloody thriller that lives up to its depraved title. It’s co-written by Curtain and Benjamin Jung-Clarke with a grating edginess. It’s filmed with flashbacks and in a nonlinear way. If you can handle the torture scenes (which is a big i,f), you might find a film that has nothing pleasant about it but is surprisingly acceptable as a nihilist survival story that has not been made to entertain you but warn city folks about going to places in the country where they aren’t welcome. In any case, even if only a bloody and pointless film, it’s at least competently made, well-acted, smartly directed and its violence is necessary for its madman story to get under your skin and be believable.

Jack (Thomas Roach) is getting a beat-down by the angrier and stronger Ricky (
Justan Wagner). Nearby Jack’s wife (Nicole Tudor) lies dead on the ground. Breaking away from his attacker, in this isolated rural area of Australia, Jack tries to get help only to encounter no help from his uncaring neighbors.  Finally one neighbor, Ned (David Tracy), is there for him. Thus begins an even more harrowing experience the poor guy must endure.

If you make it to the end, a big reveal will tell you why Jack is in this position. Only the reveal can never explain the inherent violence and insanity of such a daunting horror pic that is never as bad as it seems to be.

It played at the Panic Fest.

Beaten to Death