SEAT AT THE BACK - SCRIBBLES! ~ Films on the Seat at the Back playlist right now: KIDS IN LOVE; JUNE; CURVE; WILD, BARELY LETHAL; GODDESS OF LOVE; THE VATICAN TAPES .. What a night in!

Monday, 12 December 2011

PRIMAL (2010) - Directed by Josh Reed/ AKA 'HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN' or 'I'LL HAVE WHAT SHE'S HAVING'!


Autralian horror movies are nearly always superior in some way; whether location, ideas or acting. They have big, often ridiculous plot devices, that somehow don't get laughed at. No other country makes cheap thrills more worthy of critical debate than the Ozploitation film industry, or more poetic, falling-in-love with-the-film-forever and endearing. Certainly, pretty much confirmed as the best film at FrightFest 2010, or certainly the most crowd-pleasing. It's not the best Australian horror/ cult movie (for that, think Picnic at Hanging Rock, Razorback, Rogue, Long Weekend..) but it's one fans of the genre need to see, and is creeping up those top 10 lists. A low-budget outback horror with a group of friends one by one falling victim to an ancient curse, one friend is really off the wall in her screaming performance and the film ends on a slithery slimy note down a tunnel that leads through the ancient rockface. I saw this late at night at a Frighfest screening. Reviews were great for this one, and the film won the audience award. It's a bit silly at times, but surprisingly effective and memorable overall. Below is my review as I got home that same night of the screening ...

This one started off a bit shakily - I was kind of expecting (hoping for) a film like The Descent. Straight away - with a nearly nude fat caveman drawing pictures on a cave - it was obvious this had a very small budget, and the opening scenes with the kids in the car had no heart, just chatter, boring chatter, and then just sort of became great !!! The kids started to get personalities. The guy with the guitar was a riot. And the screaming woman - dear god can she scream - was just, well, astonishing!! Never since Chris Lee donned fangs has a baddie been so menacing - she flew through the air with the greatest of unease, screaming, screaming, fangs bared. And when she bit - oh boy, did the blood flow.
I loved that cave. I loved how they saved going in to that cave till the end of the movie. It was like a big tease, fabulous foreplay, and then the moment arrived - we go in, and there was a scene rather like that found in Galaxy of Terror, and Evil Dead. I thought it was well done. The CGI was slightly ropey in the tentacly department, but the main attraction was, again - a riot. Well realised. Hilarious. Gruesome - what that woman did to herself, aaghhh. I won't say any more. No spoilers. And the location shooting was fabulous - also, I loved how the light changed to a dawn glow towards the end; just so subtle. A nice touch.
If you haven't seen this film yet, see it. The final death scene had a deserved cheer as did the final line. It's a real crowd-pleaser and while it takes a while to get going, there's a huge rise in confidence as the movie goes on. No wonder the film had a hugely affectionate round of applause at the end of its screening at FrightFest - it was deserved.
Primal will give any horror fan a nice warm glow. Like horror films should...

words ~ Mark Gordon Palmer

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