Notable Cast: Michael Vartan, Radha Mitchell, Sam Worthington, Mia Wasikowska, John Jarratt
You can't always judge a film by whether or not it was a box office success. In the case of the Australian man vs croc film "Rogue"...it's definitely the case. For my second film in my "Croc Of Sh!t: Killer Croc/Gator Marathon," I went down under to visit "Rogue" for the first time. Coming from the director of the brilliant "Wolf Creek", I had mixed expectations. I mean, what killer croc film is truly good? As it would turn out, "Rogue" is probably the best killer croc film I've seen yet and it comes off as a rather fun, vicious, and surprisingly tense ride through the rivers of the Outback.
The last thing travel journalist Pete (Vartan) really wants is some silly riverboat trip into the Outback to see some crocodiles. Yet there he was with a boat full of tourists and families being lead by the charming guide Kate (Mitchell). When a distress flare is fired off of the path, its up to the boat to go investigate the problem...but the horrors are not what they find. It's what finds them.
What surprised me the most about "Rogue" was that it took itself very seriously. Not only that, but it was done seriously enough that it worked. Director/writer McLean has an obvious talent for taking rather well worn genres and injecting this with a dark streak and seriousness that lifts them almost to artistic levels. Who thought he could do it with a killer croc movie? Not I, said the cautious reviewer.
|Dark water is scary as is...whether or not it has something that wants to eat you in it.|
Of course though, this film wouldn't even be here in the reviewing queue if it wasn't for the villain of the film: a big fucking crocodile. Although the film obviously didn't have the budget for some big croc moments, "Rogue" does manage to instigate enough terror with only dark shadowy glimpses of the carnivorous beast for the first two-thirds of the film. The finale does take it up a notch by having a bigger more intense standoff between our hero and the croc in its den where, believe it or not, the CGI actually looks pretty damn good. It was impressive enough not to ever take me out of the moment (perhaps more is due to McLean's pacing and thoughtful lighting to help the situation) and it creates for a memorable finale that kicks the film into horror territory.
|Smile for the camera!|
Written By Matt Reifschneider