Wanting a simpler life, French couple Antoine (Menochet) and Olga (Fois) relocate to rural Spain and start a farm. When an energy company offers to buy a huge swath of land including their property, the couple’s refusal blocks the whole deal, infuriating neighbors Xan (Zahera) and Lorenzo (Anido), two struggling, backward brothers who desperately want to sell. Simmering resentments soon escalate, but Antoine just won’t budge.
Highly effective thriller notches up the tension gradually, with the audience held fast by a sense of impending doom. Menochet’s Antoine is a decent man whose stubborn machismo blinds him to mounting danger. Olga (an excellent Fois) is a steadier, watchful presence who stoically bears the consequences of her husband’s pride. Later in the film, a visit from their questioning daughter Marie (Colomb) brings some intense family drama into the mix. Among the supporting cast, Zahera steals it as the scary neighbor from hell. Suspenseful and smart, “The Beasts” delivers the goods.