ANIMAL exceeded expectations. While there's nothing necessarily new about it, it's a good old-fashioned monster movie with a capital M. Throw two groups of people, both of whom encountered and were chased by the beast, into an abandoned cabin in the woods, toss in some personal conflicts between them, let it simmer as they try to keep the beast out, and voila, tension, action, and numerous shocks ensue. What IS the beast? No answer; the most explanation you get is that the deep, dark, beautiful woods of the area will soon be vanishing almost completely through development, and the already dwindling landscape has forced critters of all kinds, known and unknown, into a smaller and smaller expanse. Whatever it is, it's discovered the taste of man, and it's hungry for more. Yes, ANIMAL has that "who's next on the menu" dynamic, that "who lives and who dies" plot line. But it's well-done, with effective direction, cinematography, effects, and capable performances by the entire cast. My only quibble was the tag ending, the last few seconds of it - necessary for a sequel, perhaps, but my God, how many times have we seen, or read, the identical sign-off of a horror story? Still, that aside, it's well worth checking out.