Luke Hyams’ (no relation to Peter Hyams) The Beast of XMoor (X Moor) at first glance reminded me of Daniel Nettheim’s far superior The Hunter, which also revolves around the hunt for a cryptid (according to Wikipedia, an animal or plant who’s existence had been suggested but not discovered by the scientific community).
In the case of Nettheim’s movie the animal in question was a Tasmanian Wolf–which actually may still exist–while The Beast of XMoor‘s seek some sort of panther they suspect is hiding out on the moors.
The most immediate problem with the movie is that it doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. It begins as a search for an a cryptid, then makes a Wrong Turn, with two very rapey Scottish folk, then turns to a confusing serial killer story.
What’s worse–if that were possible–is that the killer is less a threat to the aspiring cryptozoologists than they are to each other.
The Beast of XMoor isn’t a terrible movie, it’s just very unfocused. If it were just about a cryptid–an interesting subject in and of itself–then it would have probably been a much better movie.
If the director had jettisoned the whole cryptid storyline, and instead made a movie about a serial killer, then it might have been a much better movie.
Or if the cryptid and serial killer storyline were abandoned, and instead the story revolved about a bunch of mad Scots, then it would have probably been much better movie.
But all three? It’s a bit too much.
Brave the moors of X Moor via Netflix, because otherwise there are too many ways to die.