Today: February 25, 2024

Primal DVD/ BR

An Aussie cannibal horror
that manages to tick every cliché in the book
.

Sometimes
Australia has the habit of throwing up genuinely brilliant films, particularly
in the horror genre. 2005’s Wolf Creek
is a fine example of what our Antipodean brethren can produce when given the
right material. Unfortunately Primal does not fall into this same category of
excellence.

The
film follows that age old problem of a car full of irritating people driving
deep into the Australian rainforest to find an ancient cave painting. Once
there they realise there is a fairly series bug problem and one of their number
is acting a little on the cannibalistic side.

Imagine
if Scream (1996), and the rules it
made abundantly clear not to break in a horror movie, was never created and
Primal could be forgiven. As such it is
the girl who has sex who gets it the worst, the guitar playing funny guy who
never stands a chance and edgy frightened girl who will become our protagonist.

Once
the action is underway the film feels like Predator
(1987) minus the 80s dialogue, excess and Schwarzenegger, but with a psychotic girl as opposed to a
crab-faced alien. In other words not much fun at all. Director Josh Reed shoots
the action sequences with a lack of fluency and insists on framing it all in
shaky-hand-held low-angles, which do nothing but irritate. The one redeeming feature, besides the lush Aussie vegetation on offer,
seems to be that it accidentally toys with some dark comedic moments.
For
example two now primeval humans, fully clothed of course, going at it animal
style while one jilted lover looks on in jealousy.

Neither scary nor exciting
with a climax that resorts to rape by pre-historic blob, Primal is a film that
should have stayed where it belongs, in the Stone Age.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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