Paul Jameson (Tory Kittles), or LT as everyone calls him, is a former US Marine in Among The Beasts. LT lives in New York and is trying every day to keep a promise he made to one of his fallen brothers, Bobby. That promise was to look after Bobby’s daughters, especially his youngest Kayla (Mia Mei Williamson). A promise that LT has no intention of breaking, until one day when Kayla is kidnapped. LT once again makes another promise, this time to Kayla’s older sister, that he is going to bring her home.
After over a year of searching, LT has lost all hope. Mac (Jeremy Holm) and Jordy (Jim Norton), along with other members from LT’s platoon, worry about his wellbeing. Rightfully so as LT is spiraling into a rabbit hole of drugs, grief, and depression. Another near death scare and Mac has had enough – it is time for LT to get his shit together. Just then Lola (Libe Barer) and AJ (Sarunas J. Jackson) approach LT. Lola’s niece Sophie is missing, and she is steadfast that LT can help get her back. LT realizes this may be his opportunity to fill a Kayla-sized void in his soul and agrees to help.
Among The Beasts is written and directed by Matthew Newton. Newton has directed a small handful of films – all of which he wrote in addition to directing. His films tend to explore dramatic situations and how people deal with them. Many of Newton’s films involve members of the military, a trend continued in Among The Beasts. Kittles and Newton felt LT’s military history and his military family was a key component to the film. Newton spent time with US veterans at their social gatherings, observing their interactions, to authenticate relationships in Among The Beasts. Newton has some of these real-life US veterans appear with minor roles in the film.
The performances, pacing, and the script leave Among The Beasts an uneven experience. Kittles shines as LT, showing his range. His mannerisms and demeanor just simply work. Other performances left a lot to be desired. The script certainly has its moments weaving a mix of pain and anguish with genuine comedic moments. However numerous scenes feature dialogue that comes off as unnatural, which takes the audience out of a scene and hinders certain performances. Overall, the good outweighs the bad. The film has a relatively short runtime and manages to keep the audience engaged throughout. Kittles succeeds in making you care about LT and what he is going through. Even with his demons, he is a likable character that is easy to root for. Among The Beasts is worth a watch and there is enough there to make me want to see LT on the screen again.