The rough beauty of nature and the suffocating atmosphere of an island community formed the building blocks for the feature debut of Michael Pearce, who set the story on Jersey, the island where he was born.
Moll (27) still lives with her senile father and her dominant mother, who belittles her and keeps her on a short leash. When she runs into the lawless poacher Pascal, she sees stars – to the predictable dismay of her affluent family.
Moll’s sexuality blossoms belatedly and is combined in Beast with a darker thriller element: the island is obsessed by a series of unsolved murders of young women and the police has set its sights on Pascal. Moll is unswerving in her loyalty; her love for the outcast is her armour against the interference of the community. The fact that they both carry a secret with them strengthens their bond.
The irresistible teamwork of newcomers Jessie Buckley and Johnny Flynn is a great bonus in this film, which surprises time and again.