Baddie: Nature. Australia will kill you with nature.
Lesson: Movies about giant monster crocodiles are finally living up their potential.
All of Octoberween, SciFridays will be reviewing Australian horror films to honor the delightful movies from that delightful continent. This week is no exception.
I’m very excited about this week’s movie, because I’ve actually been meaning to watch Rogue for a while, particularly since Black Water (another delightful Aussie croc movie). The movie begins as many ought – by reminding the viewer that crocodiles are already pretty terrifying creatures, and territorial at that. Gradually, by way of newcomer (American!) in a small town, we learn that a fishing boat hasn’t come back, leaving three people missing. In either case, he boards a tour boat.
The next half hour or so is full of idle set-up chit chat about crocodiles, the areas, the backstories of the tourists on the tour boat, etc. On the way back, someone spots a flare, so the boat leaves to investigate into waters not normally traveled. The photographer spots some Aboriginal paintings of what looks like a very large crocodile. Naturally, upon investigating what looks like a sunken row boat, probably the source of the flare, something hits the boat, which then springs a leak and is grounded immediately to keep everyone dry. This ground, however, ends up being a little island. Because everyone is a tourist, everyone gets unnaturally irate. This is before the gravity of the situation starts in.
Then death starts happening. And death is handled really well by all. And, just like many Australian horror movies, the actors start to move in logical fashions to do things that make total sense and they still. get. screwed. Many more deaths later, they have managed to escape the island. Well, most of them. They accomplish this by baiting and then ‘hooking’ the croc, which distracts it long enough to swim across. Well, most of them. It’s not a perfect plan.
The American ends up being a straggler, the last to go. He also gets saddled with the dog, who gets lost, because dogs. This leads the American to the croc’s food pantry. Crocodiles, as though not already terrifying, hoard their food that is undigested, usually in a cavern. The dog has run directly into said cavern. I would say ‘because dogs’, but really because his owner happens to be there. Pretty badly injured, but alive. Also the dog’s name is Kevin and I think that’s pretty great.
Luckily for our American friend and his Aussie tour guide, the croc has just visited an all-you-can-eat buffet and is gorged. And like many humans after buffet, the croc is sleepy. I don’t know if I mentioned this explicitly, but the croc is huge. Like abnormally large. Well, sleepy to a point, I guess.
Now, the CGI isn’t the best, but it’s certainly not the worst, either. There’s at least some prop work – which, and I can’t say this enough, goes SUCH A LONG WAY. The prosthetics are great, too. It looks like someone may have actually researched crocodile wounds before applying the makeup? Color me surprised, and impressed. Now, all that being said, the crocodile is very, uh, squeaky. I don’t know how else to describe the sounds that surround it.
I enjoyed Rogue a bunch. It has genuinely scary moments, just enough heart to make you have tiny feels when people die, and best of all, a just ridiculously huge crocodile. I discovered by viewing the poster that it’s by the same director as Wolf Creek, which, if you haven’t seen it – is a fantastic horror film. It says a lot about a guy that he can do a torture slasher pic and a giant monster movie. Ladies and Gentlemen, Greg Mclean.
Feel free to tweet me any questions, recommendations, comments, compliments, whatever! Really, I just like the attention.