30West is partnering with Roadside Attractions for a spring U.S. theatrical release of Michael Pearce’s psychological thriller “Beast,” starring Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn, and Geraldine James.

30West acquired the North American distribution rights from Protagonist Pictures out of the Toronto International Film Festival where it premiered. “Beast” will make its U.S. debut in the Spotlight section of the Sundance Film Festival in January.

The movie, the first feature-length project from writer/director Pearce, centers on a small island community where a troubled young woman falls for a mysterious outsider who empowers her to escape from her oppressive family. When he comes under suspicion for a series of brutal murders, she defends him at all costs.

Guy Lodge gave “Beast” a strong review for Variety at Toronto: “Upgrading a sleeping-with-the-enemy premise familiar from countless B-thrillers with a faintly mythic aura and cool psychosexual shading, ‘Beast’ also sustains a fresh, frank feminine perspective through Jessie Buckley’s remarkable lead performance.”

“Beast” is a Film4 and BFI presentation of an Agile Films and Stray Bear Films Production. The film was produced by Stray Bear Films’ Ivana MacKinnon and Lauren Dark, and Kristian Brodie for Agile Films. Film4’s Sam Lavender, BFI’s Natascha Wharton, Agile Films’ Myles Payne and David Staniland, and David Kosse are executive producers. “Beast” was developed and funded by Film4 and the BFI (with National Lottery funding).

30West is teamed with Neon on Craig Gillespie’s “I, Tonya,” starring Margot Robbie and opening on Dec. 8.