Rogue (2007)

I can count the number of good killer croc flicks on one hand but thankfully I think Rogue can officially join their ranks. It has much more in common with Lake Placid than Lake Placid 2, at least.

Starring Silent Hill’s Radha Mitchell, who is joined by Michael Vartan and Sam Worthington, Rogue is set deep in the Australian outback. It’s a simple story that needs little explanation; a group of tourists, including an American travel writer, and their guide, set out on a river tour of the Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. About to set back to dry land, they spy a distress flare in the distance and feel morally obligated to investigate. Venturing into unknown and markedly more dangerous territory, it isn’t long before their boat is attacked by an unseen, underwater foe, leaving them stranded on a small patch of land with the tide rapidly coming in. With darkness fast approaching and no sign of rescue, they are left with no option but to try and cross the expanse of giant, rogue crocodile-infested water and walk to safety.

The acting is pretty top notch all round but is let down by some wandering and unnecessary Irish and English accents. It’s nice to see Wolf Creek’s John Jarratt in a ‘good guy’ role though and Mitchell uses her native Aussie accent which makes for a pleasant change.

During the first few minutes we’re treated to a series of aerial shots of the stunningly beautiful outback. It serves to set the tone wonderfully and each shot is as equally sumptuous as the last. The rest of the cinematography can’t quite match the sheer charm of those few frames but still manages to be admirable, despite at least half of the movie taking place at night.

The crocodile itself is a testament to the fact that CGI doesn‘t always have to be a bad thing. Most of the shots of the killer animal are brief and the computer graphics are skilfully disguised by a combination of lighting and fast movement which works superbly. Even when the croc is shown in more detail, in the latter half of the movie, it looks real enough to still make it a believable threat. It’s obvious that Greg Mclean paid a lot of attention to detail and some inclusions, particularly the crocodiles’ brutal ‘death roll’, are a wonderful little touch.

The pacing is consistent throughout and the tension mounts nicely during the first half. Most of the deaths appear off screen which creates a greater sense of dread and makes it all the more shocking when we do finally see the crocodile claim his victims. Rogue is only really let down by it’s final few moments which are a little far-fetched, in stark contrast to the rest of the film’s subtle menace, however this doesn’t detract from the fact that this is still a hugely enjoyable and well-made modern creature feature.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

One Comment on “Rogue”

  1. The Scullion says:

    Totally agree with Sarah’s review – very surprised it was tense and exciting, especially for a film swimming in a genre full of cliches, rip-offs and low budget bollocks.

    Even Sam Worthington is good in it! Perhaps it’s because he’s actually concentrating on acting rather than perfecting his American accent…

    I recommend anyone who’s been previously wounded by an appalling “huge animal” horror film (I’m looking at you Python… and Mega Piranha… and Anacondas: Hunt for the Blood Orchard… and Jaws 3… Jesus this list is long) seek Rogue out and find some love for the mutated massive monster movie.

    Rogue is great fun and genuinely scary. Especially if you hate Crocodiles…

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