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Review: BEAST OF THE WATER (2017)

BEAST OF THE WATER, (filmed as ENUATTI and re-titled just before its release), is a low budget creature feature that ticks off all the familiar boxes. Native legends, a missing researcher chasing a fantastic discovery, an evil corporation and, of course, a deadly creature guarding its secrets.

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Beginning with a prologue set in 1788 Ohio where settlers are exterminating the Ininkwe tribe. The last of them calls down a curse and summons a creature that lays waste to his attackers.

Fast-forward to the present. Professor Grey (Phil Brady) is on the verge of a major discovery when his funding is cut off. Desperate he turns to the AESIV Corporation for money, he gets it but at a price. When several of his students and their security detail arrive at the base camp, it’s a mess of blood and body parts. What is the secret they hoped to find? And why is AESIV sending out security teams that are well enough armed to fight a small war?

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BEAST OF THE WATER takes its basic cue from ALIENS and PREDATOR. Then it gives it a supernatural twist, making the Enuatti (Daniel Gilchrist) a mystical guardian creature. That also gives it some powers that allow for nasty deaths beyond the usual getting torn to pieces. The evil corporation out to profit at any cost, even murder, angle is played a bit too heavy-handed at times. AESIV would fit in perfectly with the Weyland-Yutani and Umbrella corporations, it just needs more subtle publicity.

The creature itself is fairly good by low budget standards. It’s a man in a suit, not CGI, and it looks good for the most part. There are a couple of scenes where it’s been composited in rather than shot on location. They look fairly awful, but otherwise the creature is well done. The various bits of gore tend to be quick cuts, with the notable exception of a double dismemberment.

First time director Rashaad Santiago, working from a script by Rick Prince, has made an enjoyable monster movie that should keep fans happy. BEAST OF THE WATER is available on VOD and DVD from Gravitas Ventures.

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