Refusing to believe her story about cave-dwelling monsters, the sole survivor of a spelunking exploration gone horribly wrong is forced to follow the authorities back into the caves where something awaits.
Michael J. Reynolds,
A group of friends on vacation decide to venture onto a trail high up in the mountains that has been closed for repairs. The climb proves more perilous than planned, especially as they soon... See full summary »
TV show star reporter Tim Manfrey and his cameraman Steven Johnson travel to Burundi to get sensational footage of a giant crococilian monster which attacked a UN identification team and the Tutsi-Hutu tribal civil war carnage mass grave corpses it was digging up in a Great Lakes marsh area. But it turns out danger also lurks in the armed form of a local war lord. Written by
I admit it, I have a soft spot for monster movies. Maybe it's the kid in me who watched all the old "creature features" at a young age, or maybe it's the fact that no one has really made a serious monster movie since...well, you tell me. That being said, "Primeval" is no work of genius, and like most mainstream films, is loaded with clichéd moments that we've seen in better movies. However, when compared to the films that pass for horror today, this one has surprising bite (no pun intended) at certain moments. The main complaint here seems to be the misleading advertising campaign of the film, hyping it up as a tale of serial killer in rural Africa. Of course, the actual story details an American news team (the brooding male leader, the hot female sidekick, and of course, the token black guy who serves mostly as comic relief) traveling to the war-torn Burundi to film and hopefully capture Gustave, an enormous crocodile who has eaten hundreds of people. Naturally, things go wrong, and the river soon runs red. An interesting aspect of the movie is the inclusion of a warlord in the plot, adding a second threat to the protagonists (Gustave is, of course, their first threat). This risky move sometimes works and sometimes doesn't, but I applaud the filmmakers for trying something new at least. What really redeems the film however are a few key scenes that are surprisingly atmospheric (something most modern horror films have forgotten), well edited, and increasingly suspenseful. Without giving too much away, the croc itself is better than one may expect from this kind of a movie. The cast does what they can with a strictly average script, yet for the most part, manage to elicit some interest and sympathy. The final act is a bit of a disappointment, but by that point, it's already been a fun, exciting ride, and one doesn't really care. In short, "Primeval" is strictly what many of us go to the movies for: popcorn entertainment. I myself had originally gone to see "Pan's Labyrinth" but as the shows were sold out, my friends and I eventually decided to give "Primeval" a go. I wasn't dazzled, but then again, I wasn't expecting to be. It's simply fun, escapist entertainment, and despite what any film snob will tell you, there's nothing wrong with that. Just shut your brain off and you should have a good time.
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