Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Boar (2018) - Shudder Spree

Streaming Services: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: Boar (2018)
Genre: Adventure, Horror, Thriller
Length: 96 minutes
Rating: NR
Production/Distribution: Slaughter FX, OZPIX Entertainment, Universal Pictures, GatebreakR, Impact Films, Meteor Film, RLJ Entertainment, Shudder, Signature Entertainment
Director: Chris Sun
Writer: Kristy Dallas, Chris Sun
Actors: Bill Moseley, Nathan Jones, John Jarratt, Steve Bisley, Ernie Dingo, Roger Ward, Hugh Sheridan, Chris Haywood, Simone Buchanan, Madeleine Kennedy, Christie-Lee Britten, Melissa Tkautz, Chris Bridgewater, Sean Gannon, Trudi Ross
Blurb from IMDb: In the harsh, yet beautiful Australian outback lives a beast, an animal of staggering size, with a ruthless, driving need for blood and destruction. It cares for none, defends its territory with brutal force, and kills with a raw, animalistic savagery unlike any have seen before.

Selina’s Point of View:
I want to be very clear about something before I talk about Boar. I love creature features. I adore anything from mainstream stuff like Jurassic Park (1993) to campy over-the-top ‘so bad it’s good’ stuff like Big Ass Spider! (2013) – and most stuff in between. When I do dislike any kind of creature feature, there’s a reason for it.
Now, let’s talk about the movie of the day.
I was excited for Boar. I’ve had some good experiences with Australian films and I was up for some rampaging giant wild pig action. I didn’t expect much from it, I was just looking forward to some creature thrills.
Still, it left me disappointed.
Quite frankly, the plot wasn’t developed enough for Boar to take itself as seriously as it did.

For one thing, the audience is introduced to the ‘main characters’ early on in the movie, but they disappear after about 10 minutes and don’t come back into the story until half-way through. When they do finally reappear, the movie expects you to care about them as though the whole film has been developing that field of fucks, but it hasn’t.
As happens when you don’t tend to a field, it was barren.
The script did feel very natural in some parts, but then the writers would slip into these tropey lines that felt out of place and made me cringe.
It just wasn’t very good. Whether you’re looking for a serious creature feature, or something campy and fun, Shudder has better films to fill those needs.
I will say this, though. Australians have some of the best slang in the world.

Cat’s Point of View:
A month-long binge of horror movies would be seriously lacking if we didn’t have a creature feature mixed in.
One of the reasons I was initially interested in this movie was the premise of the creature, itself. Why is a wild pig scary, aside from the monster size of it? Ask any boar hunters out there – they’re no joke. Hell, wasn’t it a boar that took out a major character in Game of Thrones (2011-2019)? (It was.) I guess the bad guy monologue from Snatch (2000) regarding the efficacy of pig farms for body-disposal has stuck with me, too. Wild bacon is scary if you don’t have the stopping power. A wild hog the size of a car? That has the potential to be terrifying.
When you factor in the cast here, it gets even better. My interest was instantly piqued seeing horror veteran Bill Moseley (Repo! The Genetic Opera, Death House, 3 From Hell) attached to this film. This is a slightly different role for him than his character in Rob Zombie’s (House of 1000 Corpses, Halloween, The Lords of Salem) Firefly clan movies. Nevertheless, it gives some extra ‘cred’ that he’s attached to the cast here.
I was also excited to see the modern-day giant and former WWE Superstar, Nathan Jones (Charlie's Farm, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Scorpion King: Book of Souls) involved with this production. Giant boar vs. giant man seemed like a pretty cool match up to me. Then, of course, I was surprised and giddy to recognize Ernie Dingo (Bran Nue Dae, Australia Day, Mystery Road) and the slice of levity that he brought to the story. My inner 80’s nostalgia fan had to squee, considering he was the titular character’s best friend Charlie in Crocodile Dundee II (1988).

Regrettably, I wish I could say that I recognized the female cast members here. I certainly didn’t find fault with their performances, I’m just not all that familiar with them.
I am looking forward to checking out other movies by writer/director Chris Sun (Come and Get Me, Daddy's Little Girl, Charlie's Farm). He seems to have utilized the same core cast members in most of his 4 films to date.
The kicker to a successful creature feature is largely determined by how the actual critter is handled. If I’m honest, I have some mixed feelings about the effects used with the boar here. Understandably, there wasn’t going to be any safe way to use a real one. Some of the effects were clearly CGI and didn’t exactly fit right, while others were spot on. The same can be said of the practical effects. There were some close-ups of the boar that are outright horrifying, and others that are clearly either animatronic or a guy in a suit. That took me out of the moment in a few places.
Overall, I enjoyed Boar. I don’t know that I’d watch it again; but I do know that, as I said, I am interested in seeing other projects by this director and I certainly wouldn’t steer anyone away from this movie. That being said, I can’t say that it would be my first choice for recommendations. Shudder has so many titles to choose from that would be decidedly better. If you do decide to give this film a shot, be sure you’re watching in the dark for maximum effect.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 50%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 44%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.2/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3.5/5
Trust the Dice Parental Advisory Rating: R
Movie Trailer:

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