Thank you to those who recommended Rogue to me on my top Animals Run Amok list! If I could marry a movie right now, I think the lucky dude would have to be Rogue. Okay maybe it's not that great, but I tell you, it was pretty fucking awesome. I love surprises and this movie certainly was one.
Croco-licious plot: Michael Vartan is an American travel writer who takes a crocodile river tour in Australia's Northern Territory. When the tourist boat, helmed by Radha Mitchell as Kate, follows a distress flare further down the river, the boat is attacked and damaged by a vicious crocodile. Stranded on a tiny island with the tide coming in, the group must find a way to get to safety, while the croc has tagged them for food.
Animas Run Amok movies are indeed the greatest thing in the world, but the best ones I think are those with water animals. It's a whole other world beneath the surface and the water is their territory, not ours. You never know where they are or where they'll appear, which is where the true scare comes from. Although I gotta say, crocodiles are land animals, too. I'm surprised that they only thought they were in danger by going into the water, and that the croc only attacked them on the island once. But I guess if he had rushed the land then they would have all been killed fairly soon.
Speaking of the water, the setting is so gorgeous. This movie comes from the creator of another Australian horror flick, Wolf Creek, and he certainly knows how to film the outback in amazing ways. The beauty of the place is only marred by its isolation and vastness, which makes it a not so ideal place for our group to be stranded in. The cinematography is practically another character in the movie and is not like anything I've seen outside a Tomb Raider game.
Hiding the beast from view is what usually goes on in these types of movies, but it works so well to this film's advantage. There's a great bit where one of the guys is standing near the water's edge. There's a splash, and when the group turns around, he's disappeared, and you only see the croc's tail as he slowly swims away. At first I thought I missed something, which was probably just the filmmakers' intention.
The beast only comes into full view at the climax in his lair, or burrow or whatever it is. The CGI is practically flawless, even better than my other favorite killer croc from Primeval. There's actually a good blend of both CG and mechanical effects, and I could hardly tell the difference. Rogue not only surprised me in how good and effective it is but also in its quality filmmaking - something I frankly didn't expect from such a relatively small movie.
There is wicked suspense all around in Rogue with some amazing jump moments that scared the piss out of me so many times. When the croc rams the tour boat, I literally jumped so hard that I lost my breath for a second. Absolutely fantastic. As the group tries to shimmy across the rope to cross the water, you're on the edge of your seat waiting for the crocodile to jump out of the water, but nope. A low growl and he blazes out to attack Neil on the land on the other side. That was a nice turn, too. When Neil and his friend show up on the speedboat, I thought his character was going to be one of the survivors, but he's picked off rather quick.
And John Jarratt is in this! Did not even recognize him as the guy in the fishing hat and mustache. He plays this character of the sweet widower so much different than the psycho in Wolf Creek, but he is wonderful in both. He helped make Wolf Creek what it was, so I'm not surprised that writer and director Greg Mclean would want him in another of his films.
Haha, that reminds me. Stay for the credits to Rogue because there is a hilarious "Never Smile at a Crocodile" song playing over them, sung by a sweet female voice. Funny but kind of creepy at the same time!
Great killer croc flick, one of the best, if I should so presume.