Tuesday, October 06, 2009

31 Days of Halloween - Day 6 - Movie 1

I picked up "Rogue" (2007) on a whim, aware that the stigma against straight-to-video movies was slowly going away, but still knowing that good straight-to-video movies were the exception to the rule. Fortunately this movie turned out to be one of the exceptions, a big exception.

"Rogue" has the simplest of plots. An Australian wildlife river boat tour investigates distress flares and finds itself attacked by an enormous crocodile. Their boat sunk, and trapped on an island as both darkness and the tide come in shrinking their land, the survivors try to survive and get to land.

The movie, very well written, produced, and directed by Greg McLean does a great job of setting things up, and fleshing out the characters instead of populating the boat with the time worn cliché disaster movie types. Everyone feels, and looks like a real person and not a type. There's beautiful cinematography by Will Gibson and the whole movie looks much more expensive than must have been. The filmmakers are also wise enough to keep the crocodile mostly unseen, and take advantage of the nighttime lighting to suggest it, more than show it. The special effects never look cheap or phony. The action and situations are played with naturalism rather than sensation making this movie feel a lot more real, and the victims are picked off in a very democratic fashion defying expectations.

So far, "Rogue" is my surprise find for this Halloween season. I highly recommend it.

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