Beaten to Death Review – IGN

Australian Horror Flick “Beaten to Death” Leaves Audiences Divided

In the realm of extreme horror films, “Beaten to Death” stands out as a shocking and brutal spectacle. Reminiscent of the infamous movies from the 2000s like “Hostel” and “Martyrs,” this Aussie thriller pushes the boundaries of violence and depravity. However, unlike its predecessors, “Beaten to Death” lacks meaningful storytelling and character development. The film seems to focus solely on inflicting prolonged agony on its protagonist without providing much context or narrative justification.

The story begins with Jack, played by Thomas Roach, wounded and alone in a desolate wilderness. Through a series of flashbacks, we witness his brutal beating and the death of his wife. The perpetrator of these heinous acts takes a moment to deliver a monologue about military hazing, the closest the film comes to character development.

Jack’s ordeal is far from over as he stumbles upon another house seeking help. Unfortunately, he finds himself in an even more excruciating predicament. Writer-director Sam Curtain employs a ghoulish point-of-view shot that plunges the audience into darkness, heightening the sense of despair. However, most of the film consists of scenes of Jack trudging through nature and expressing his anguish, intermittently interrupted by sadistic acts of violence against him.

Regrettably, we learn very little about Jack as a character. He lacks distinguishing features or a defined personality. In contrast, films like “Wolf Creek” take their time to endear viewers to their ill-fated protagonists before subjecting them to gruesome horrors. The lack of character development in “Beaten to Death” leaves a void in understanding and connection.

One brief flashback, set in a coffee house, provides a glimmer of backstory with a faith-based undertone. It aligns with the biblical torments endured by the film’s main character. Is Jack suffering for his own sins or those of others? The elusive answer to this question ultimately feels anticlimactic, leaving the audience unsatisfied.

Perhaps, if the nonlinear structure of the film didn’t disrupt the tension and momentum, “Beaten to Death” could have worked as an immersive survival thriller. Similarly, a darkly comedic approach to Jack’s extraordinarily bad luck could have added an intriguing layer. Unfortunately, the film lacks humor entirely, remaining solemn and melodramatic throughout. Scenes of Jack’s despair are accompanied by mournful piano music and intercut with poetic imagery that fails to evoke emotion.

Beaten to Death plays a bit like The Passion of the Christ if Jesus were just some guy.

Overall, “Beaten to Death” lacks profound depth despite its intention to explore the human condition through relentless suffering. Instead, it becomes a gratuitous and pointless display of violence. It fails to offer any meaningful insights into the protagonist’s struggle beyond the simple question of his will to live versus his aversion to pain. Ultimately, the choice for the audience is clear – to end their own suffering by opting not to view the film at all.