Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2014: Zombeavers Review!

You already know if you're going to watch Zombeavers. There's probably nothing I could write here, no revelatory tidbit of information, that would either encourage or discourage you from watching badly-on-purpose assembled beaver puppets viciously tear apart every piece of wood and flesh onscreen.

The setup is the same as you've seen a million times before. Mary (Rachel Melvin) arranges a girls weekend with the shit-disturbing Zoe and naive Jenn (Lexi Atkins) at a remote lakeside cabin, which is soon interrupted by boyfriends Tommy (Jake Weary), the effusive Buck (Peter Gilroy) and Jenn’s recent ex Sam (Hutch Dano). We’re also introduced to several quirky locals along the way. I'd elaborate but I don't think it's a spoiler to say that getting too attached to any of them is unwise in a movie about rampaging beavers.

The origin story of the crazed rodents is razor-thin, and as one would expect, is partly the fault of John Mayer (yes, that John Mayer in a cameo role). It's secondary to the point though, which is that these beavers are dangerous, completely relentless, and even cunning to a hilarious degree. Yes, these buck-toothed bastards are smart. Smarter than most horror villains, actually.

I think what elevates Zombeavers above the Sharknados of the world is the fact that everyone looks like they’re having a great time on set and with the material given. There are points in the film where the actors, especially Palm, Dano, and Gilroy, seem to be fighting to one-up each other, as well as the beavers themselves, in chewing the most scenery. It gets excessive at times, but movies like this have no place for restraint and nuance.

Director Jordan Rubin is competent enough behind the camera and is very aware of what he's doing, and that's all you can really ask here. Ultimately, if you're ever going to watch a movie in which a group of teenagers is overrun by unkillable rabid beavers who communicate with each other sonically by slapping their tails, make it Zombeavers.


Check out Toronto After Dark's schedule, ticket info, and more here.

This piece was written by Sachin Hingoo, a freelance writer when he is not working at an office job that is purpose-built for paying the bills while he works as a freelance writer. His writing has appeared on, the CBC Street Level Blog,, and The Midnight Madness Blog for the Toronto International Film Festival. He has also been featured at Toronto lecture series Trampoline Hall (which is rumored to be excellent). His mutant power is 'feigning interest'. You can read all of his posts here.


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