10 Movies Like Beast That Fans Will Want To Watch Next

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Humanity versus the natural world is one of those tropes that never gets old. In these stories, the natural world can stand in for a lot of big themes worth discussing. Our mortality is a common one, with stories where the natural world is as persistent as our final end — and happy to get us there in a hurry. Sometimes it's just a test of our will to survive. How far will we go to protect someone or something? Will our desire to overcome adversity fail to stand up against the law of the jungle?

Other times, these stories are just wildly fun. "Beast" relies on being a corny good time, with a look at the sprawling beauty of Africa and a long stare at the chiseled good looks of Idris Elba. He's a dad on a family trip that goes sideways when they come across a huge male lion with good reason to despise human intruders on his territory. But Elba, as the recently widowed Dr. Nate Samuels, has to also grapple with what he's willing to do to protect his kids. When it comes to the brutal struggle for survival, this film is in fine company. Here are 10 more movies to feed the beast inside you.

The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)

The Tsavo Man-Eaters, two male lions who'd switched to humans as their primary prey, rampaged through Kenya in the late 1800s. They were such efficient hunters that they disrupted the construction of a new railroad system, carrying off over a hundred workers during their reign of terror. The railroad project, fortunately, had a big game hunter named John Henry Patterson on board, and it's his memoir that made these two lions into eternal terrors.

Patterson is played by Val Kilmer in "The Ghost and the Darkness," and with him is Michael Douglas as the fictional Charles Remington. (Bold move to name a guy after a gun manufacturer.) The two lions reach almost supernatural heights of predation, pushing the logic of what lions can do. But unlike "Beast," this film features visibly real lions (along with animatronic replicas). That's a little uncomfortable these days, but a rare treat for new "Beast" fans that want a better idea of what a real lion up in a hapless person's grill might look like. Patterson's story defies reality, but there's some truth in there, and this film adds weight to the notion that Idris Elba's frightened character might actually face a similar situation.

The Grey (2011)

It's sometimes difficult to ignore the impact of reality on a work of fiction. Would 2011's "The Grey" work anywhere near as well as it did without a Liam Neeson still recovering from fresh personal grief? Maybe, but the raw power and defiance of his character John Ottway are hard to imagine without it. Ottway is reeling from the impending loss of his wife, ready to give it all up. But the choice to end his life is taken away when he survives a plane crash and needs to help the remaining victims.

The film never spares its gut punches. Ottway is a vocal atheist who makes a good case for being abandoned by God during the course of his setbacks. The wolves he faces, unrealistic in their malice, are bold metaphors for the demons that taunted Christ in the wilderness. Does Ottway even want to survive his temptation, the lure of the void? Is he fighting to live? Or is he simply fighting so that he won't die by his own hand? Whatever the answer, this film is headier and more thoughtful than "Beast," looking at the emotional cost of these kinds of encounters with the wilderness. If you came out of the show wondering what Idris Elba's half-mangled Dr. Samuels might've thought about his trip, well, Liam Neeson has some ideas.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Jeremiah Johnson (1972)

At this point in society, who among us wouldn't want to take a small bag of our earthly belongings (plus a Wi-Fi booster) and disappear up into the mountains? In the mid-1850s, this was still a valid career choice. Those lucky bastards. "Jeremiah Johnson" is the manly-man fictionalized tale of Liver-Eating Johnson, a mountain trapper who claimed to get into it with the local Indigenous tribes so much that they turned him into a legend.

Don't let facts detract from a rampaging good ride with Robert Redford as Jeremiah. He hunts, struggles, loves, loses, and goes absolutely hog wild with revenge. He does that head-nodding gif you've seen a thousand times. And while he never grapples with something on the scale of a lion like Idris Elba, Jeremiah is rarely alone in his trials. For most of the movie, he finds someone else to live for, something worth protecting. Even then, he's not the only grizzled survivor up the mountain, and the old trapper who mentors him has a quirky style that'll click with fans of "Beast" costar Sharlto Copley. As survivalist fantasies go, "Jeremiah Johnson" is a must-see, full of sumptuous nature and a glimpse of the Wild West that only sort of was. 

The Edge (1997)

Academy Award-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins, scouted by founder Sir Laurence Olivier himself to join one of the U.K.'s finest Shakespearean theaters, fights a bear in "The Edge." The bear is played by the late and famous Kodiak bear Bart, who was nearly nominated for an Academy Award for another role. But since animals are "props" and not actors, the nomination was nixed. Fortunately, Bart took his setbacks with more grace than that chimp did in "Nope." It's great that we're in a new era of ever-improving CGI animals, but Bart is a fine example of an animal star that was treated respectfully. 

Sometimes Bart's on-screen rampages are as terrifying and random as a Xenomorph. Truthfully, all this poor bear is doing is following its beastly nature, much like the lion in "Beast" that's been frenzied by poachers. It's just as easy to respect this bear and understand its driving purpose. Meanwhile, Sir Hopkins has to decide whether his human nature includes mercy. Now, lean in close. Here's the real deal about this film and why it's better than "Beast:" there's exactly one movie about a billionaire that almost gets eaten by a wild animal, and this is it.

Gorillas in the Mist (1988)

There's a lot to unpack about the real Dian Fossey, who can be summarized somewhat as Dark Jane Goodall. As contemporaries, Fossey and Goodall crossed academic paths. But where Jane's fascination lay with the chimps, Goodall went deep into the jungled mountains to study gorillas. Unlike Jane, Fossey bunkered down, waging a private war against the poachers who were decimating her adopted family. She escalated after the poaching death of a beloved young gorilla, and the truth of her behavior gets hard to defend. It's an interesting look at the other side of "Beast," where director Baltasar Kormákur deliberately sought to upend any white savior narratives.

Sigourney Weaver plays Dian Fossey in "Gorillas in the Mist," which tempers some of the grimmer parts of the above story. Romance helps lend emotional weight to a bleak ending that's easily spoiled by knowing about the impact of Fossey's life's work. Mostly it's a beautiful film, one where this human versus nature story plainly casts humanity as its villain. That theme also makes this another story about the horrors of poaching, like "Beast," with all the consequences that entail.

Cujo (1983)

"Beethoven" this is not. Stephen King might not remember writing "Cujo" with its cutie-gone-catastrophic St. Bernard, but the film adaptation is a little more memorable. There's a good argument that this story was a cry for help from the writer who has openly talked about his past struggle with addiction, but the movie doesn't really leave room for that discussion. Save it for the book, where even Cujo himself narrates the madness taking apart his dream of always being a good boy. Heck, the lion from "Beast" doesn't want to hunt people, either. Like this looming St. Bernard, the lion is unfortunately pressured by circumstances out of its control.

The film creates a game of tensions, of survival not of the fittest, but most determined to protect. Donna Trenton (Dee Wallace) covers her son's body with her own as Cujo slams against the car, just as Idris Elba shelters his own kids from a pissed-off cat. Less well-tuned than "Beast" and reliant on backstory, it's still another great jaunt in their shared film genre of "locked in a car by malicious nature." Morbidly curious dog lovers, take comfort: all the good boys that played Cujo had so much fun that filming would devolve into a game of trying to hide these pups' wagging tails.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Jaws (1975)

The promotions for "Beast" have banged hard on the drum of "'Jaws,' but in Africa! With a lion!" To be fair, it's a safe call. "Jaws" is ceaselessly rewatchable for movie buffs, and new cinephiles owe it to themselves to bump Steven Spielberg's breakout feature up their must-see list. The tension level rises over the course of the film with the perfection of an Alfred Hitchcock classic. The characters are vital, alive, and flawed. It's not hard to imagine Idris Elba's Dr. Samuels and Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) sharing a beer. Brody knows all about kids in distress, and it's that same fatherly drive to protect them that pushes him to face his own big fears about nature.

"Jaws" strips its themes of man versus wild to simplicity in its final act. There is a boat, there are three dudes, and there is a man-eating shark (actually a hilariously difficult animatronic nicknamed Bruce). Good luck, guys. But unlike "Beast," which has made it clear that its lion is only doing what lions do when humans muck around its territory, "Jaws" did lasting harm to our perception of sharks. It's still a brilliant film and an obvious follow-up to a "Beast"-ly movie night. Afterward, though, look into the reality of these special creatures. Like lions, sharks are part of our world, and they were here long before us.

Arachnophobia (1990)

Some of us were lucky — and foolish — enough to see "Arachnophobia" on the big screen back in 1990, where itsy bitsy spiders seem so much larger. A surprise tickle at the ankle can still launch us into low orbit. Speaking from the heart: if you're anxious about or terrified of spiders, do not take a strong edible, wear scratchy wool, or wrap yourself in an old granny square blanket when watching this movie at home. You are going to break something by the time the credits roll.

The beast here is a hairy spider the size of a dinner plate, about 50 times smaller than a lion, yet still way too big. You may become convinced they're going to slide right off the screen like the girl from "The Ring." If it helps, the big ones are models, but those are real legions of spiders (harmless Avondales) skittering all over those houses. This movie will make you understand why people occasionally set their houses on fire. Despite all that, like "Beast," it's a cheesy but delightful film about conquering the terrible things going on in your life — by replacing them with other terrible things that require conquering, or your whole family dies. At least a lion can't bite your butt while you're on the toilet.

Deliverance (1972)

"Deliverance" is, roughly, about the violence inherent in the laws of survival. City boys (Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Jon Voight) go on vacation. Country boys take exception to the intrusion into their territory. The city boys undergo vastly outsized consequences for their invasion, including the infamous brutal rape of Beatty's character, and now it's a game of cat and mouse in the primal woods of rural Georgia. The beasts here are all entirely human; Burt Reynolds would have preferred a lion. Still, he would have sympathy for the protagonists of "Beast," who didn't ask for their vacation to be so rudely disrupted, either.

There's a story about masculinity in here, toxic and otherwise, but it's masked by the glory of nature and moments of awful violence. It's a trip that ends in the death of more than one person, and the murder of a lot of innocence about the darkest parts of our own human natures. None of the film's survivors go home the same person that they once were. Whatever trial this was, their deliverance is a bitter one. For fans of the lush shots of Africa's country that are, arguably, the best part of "Beast," "Deliverance" is a visual treat.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Prey (2022)

While you're still riding the high of watching a man brawl a lion, go straight home and put on "Prey." "Prey" earns its critical laurels with a taut plot, clear visual language, and the best dog of 2022. There's a lot going on under the hood of this well-oiled machine. There are at least three coming-of-age stories going on at once; a head-on look at colonialism and exploitation; a mournful look at the environmental impact white people are already causing, and the raddest fight scenes since "The Northman." Simply put, it's a really freaking good movie. For anyone that came out of "Beast" thinking Idris Elba could take on a Yautja just as well as he did a lion (he could) this is the movie you want.

It's not hard to find a parallel between this film and "Aliens," either. With few spoilers, our hero, Naru, finds herself caught by an outside force. It's not hard to imagine her looking at both these people and the young Yautja hunter and thinking to herself, "At least the alien isn't screwing everyone over for money." It's that respect for her opponent, her understanding of the natural world, and her willingness to adapt that gives her an edge on par with Arnold Schwarzenegger's wily soldier, much less Sharlto Copley's biologist in "Beast," who twigs the quickest to the predatory threat they all face. Naru puts in the work to get there, with good girl Sarii (played by shelter pup Coco) always at her side.