Never thought creature horrors could be anything more than black comedies with questionable special effects? Think again. While it’s contemporaries like Lake Placid and recent Chinese monster movie Million Dollar Crocodile (or Croczilla as it’s sometimes known) are comedies with reasonable but not all that realistic special effects, Rogue gives us something believable and outright terrifying, with not a hint of comedy in sight.
A rather attractive American journalist heads out to the Australian outback on an assignment. Unfortunately when on a tour boat, the guide must answer a distress call before heading back to land. The group encounters a huge man eating crocodile and journalist Pete realises he’d much rather be harassing celebrities in Hollywood like most journalists.
Rogue delivers some very believable special effects that have been praised by witnesses of the real-life ‘Rogue’ (apparently the film is based on a true story) for its resemblance to the real thing. Unlike a lot of creature horrors that teeter on the line between comedy and horror, Rogue never loses step and turns into a satisfyingly scary horror film.
We’re given a good portion of the film to get to know all the characters and having a small cast works in the films favour. We get to know everyone on the boat from the characters who will become the films heroes to the minor characters who will inevitably be scoffed by the giant croc. Some of the characters are so damn annoying you’ll be willing them to die, but that’s what makes a good film, right? If you feel that strongly about the characters it’s a good sign. Rogue does what not many horrors achieve and that’s give us a bunch of characters that we care about (or want to die, depending on the character!)
The special effects are pretty good, and the crocodile does look surprisingly real. In the final scenes when the hero (I won’t name names, in case anyone hasn’t seen it) has to fight the crocodile with pretty much just his bare hands, the crocodile gets so close to the character that you’d expect the special effects to be totally awful, but they’re not and the scene is as nail-bitingly tense as any other successfully scary horror film.
Rogue is completely conventional and totally predictable, but in a lot of cases that’s the best way to be. It doesn’t take any major risks which allows for a brilliantly creepy creature horror with some serious bite. Definitely one that should be near the top of every
creature feature fans list if of course that creature feature fan hasn’t seen it yet.