Skip to content


Written By:

Anthony Oleszkiewicz

What a title! And thankfully, the film delivers; if it were called “This Movie Will Give You $1,000,000” I would be writing this review from a yacht. Greenhorn director Mike Cheslik introduces us to an alcoholic cider manufacturer in pioneer-time America who must learn to survive in the wilderness by fighting off rabbits, raccoons, and, of course, beavers, as played by cast members in Disneyland-style costumes. Although on the surface, it may seem like a parodic B-movie oddity, it is, instead, a cannot be ignored rip-roaring comedy that will stand the test of time for its classic elements alongside its timeliness. The trick Cheslik and his team have pulled off is to create a fresh feeling, original film with the familiarity of an old sweater.

Rather than creating new aesthetics whole cloth, the filmmakers lifted a combination of ideas from other art in an original way. This is ‘Influenced Cinema’. Cheslik joins the ranks of Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright in constructing works so strongly indebted to their creators’ influences that they are inextricable until a generation decides only to remember the influenced work. Audiences are hailing Hundreds of Beavers as the return of early cinema, and indeed, the almost completely dialogue-free black and white movie brings to mind Chaplin’s slapstick or, in talkies, W.C. Field’s absurd games. But Cheslik has layered upon it so much more. The Looney Tunes logic, a Silver Age Disney animated musical number, charming Muppets-like expression, and most prominently, a Legend of Zelda video game shop system, inventory tracker, overworld map, and use of sound effects are all in service of a wholly original story.

While certainly frenetic, the collage feels so natural in execution. Watching our fur trapper friend set traps like comedic setups with ten-minute later punchline payoffs is genuinely engrossing. The experience of seeing the film isn’t a nostalgic one we hold at a distance but a raw, immersive laughter powerhouse that could only come to us now. This child of the ’00s and ’10s American Midwest Internet video sketch scene doesn’t adopt its parent’s propensity for parody. The “going out in the woods to film a thing with friends” could easily turn into something derivative. Instead, these filmmakers set out to make something fun and original from the media that made them. In a world where Hollywood comedy movies are relegated to the Apatow-style of improvisational awkwardness, it’s incredibly refreshing to explore other avenues of movie comedy that are not reliant on references to pop culture even as they adopt their look.

If you seek to be surprised with genuine movie magic, the kind of delights where a younger version of yourself would wonder how a certain effect, stunt, or gag has been achieved or how a script seems to know exactly how your mind works, then there’s no better recommendation this year. Through a combination of costuming, animation, green screen environments, and a sprinkle of puppetry, the world of Hundreds of Beavers feels as tangible as Hyrule, as brimming with laughter as the Muppet theatre, and as full of imagination as the woods behind your own suburban house.


HUNDREDS OF BEAVERS is on general release in the US. 

Anthony Oleszkiewicz

You May Also Like...

Pigeon Shrine FrightFest 25th Anniversary Poster Revealed

Horror will have a new home this August, as Pigeon Shrine FrightFest takes over the massive Odeon Luxe Leicester Square for its 25th anniversary. The poster for the event –
Read More
sonic adventure 2 character shadow to be voiced by keanu reeves

Keanu Reeves Is SONIC 3’s Shadow

John Wick star Keanu Reeves is heading to Sonic the Hedgehog 3 to voice the popular video game character, Shadow. The news comes after Paramount presented the first footage for
Read More
jonathan bailey of bridgerton fame joins jurassic world cast

Jonathan Bailey To Join ScarJo In JURASSIC WORLD Film

Jonathan Bailey, an English actor who broke out on the international stage with his role in Bridgerton, is in early talks to for a leading role in Universal’s upcoming Jurassic
Read More
star wars: dawn of the jedi title card


Beau Willimon is returning to the world of Siths and Jedis, having now been tapped to write for Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi, the Lucasfilm feature to be directed by James
Read More
Mickey 17 teaser starring Robert Pattinson and directed by Bong Joon Ho

Bong Joon-ho Is Back With Trailer For MICKEY 17

How long have we been waiting to get a good look at Bong Joon-ho’s follow-up to the acclaimed Parasite, the sci-fi feature Mickey 17? Too long, that’s for sure. While we may not
Read More
adaptation of comic book avengelyne is in the works with attractive package

Comic Book Character AVENGELYNE Is Getting The Feature Treatment

A pretty impressive team is coming together to adapt Avengelyne, the ’90s comic book character from Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld and Cathy Christian. Olivia Wilde, who helmed the very good Booksmart and the
Read More