Primal (2010) Poster

(2010)

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6/10
A Nutshell Review: Primal
DICK STEEL24 March 2010
Written, directed and produced by Josh Reed, Primal may seem like your typical violent monster / slasher flick, but in following formula the film did turn out to be rather enjoyable, if not cliché, but it worked. The opening scene some 12000 years ago gives us the premise where a caveman tries to communicate the presence of an unknown beast, only to be devoured very quickly before fast forwarding to today, with 6 travelling friends on a road trip to that exact same location for a camp and a hike.

The film takes the first 30 minutes to cue us in on the characters, given that with an ensemble, we expect certain molds to be adopted. For instance, there's always the ditzy, loud mouthed and slutty blonde (Krew Boylan) who's in the trip for some forest romp with studious looking boyfriend Chad (Lindsay Farris), who had enough when she starts to openly flirt with the alpha male of the group, Dace (Wil Traval), who's take away from the trip is the mysterious painting seen in the opening shot. Throw in the others like the group joker Warren (Damien Freeleagus), simple follower Kris (Rebekah Foord) and the one whom you know is more than meets the eye given the token phobia she must overcome at some point (Anja, played by Zoe Tuckwell-Smith), you have the requisite group for one heck of a monster attack.

I would liken the genre as an opportunity to study character dynamics and behaviours when placed under extremely stressful situations, such as the tendency for some to talk a lot without action, or to arrow others to perform various dirty-work What more, it gets interesting because the great unknown happens to be manifested into one of their own, so existential questions get called into the picture, especially when one gets transformed into a blood lusting beast with plenty of fang-like teeth replacing the human ones, extreme dexterity (an ability that varies its effectiveness from time to time) and a nasty violent temper, coupled with some nasty makeup to complete the revolting look set to strike fear.

There's the decision to play who lives and who dies, and as the audience you get roped in, based on past experience in similar genre films, to play guess who's next, as we listen in on all the bickering and disagreements, plus the warning signs that the characters themselves fail to heed. Of course these disagreements get chopped down to manageable size when the body count increases, and part of the guilty fun is to identify and apply genre clichés over the film and see if they still hold water. Most do.

For those into bloody gore, there are enough moments in Primal that are graphic enough to make you squirm, since the acts of violence are unflinching. The story gets built up quite nicely into the last hurrah, where unfortunately some really raw looking special effects set in a cave drew unnecessary attention to itself, and marred the experience of the crescendo carefully crafted.
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6/10
All those teeth...
celr9 March 2011
I mostly hate those so-called 'slasher flicks' which feature a group of witless, narcissistic and dim-witted teenagers (or vapid 20 somethings) who go out into the woods and are picked off one by one by either a madman seeking vengeance or some restless supernatural entity. This one pretty much follows the formula except it's a rather good example of the genre. The acting isn't that bad and the pacing is really good. The campers all have distinct characters. Once you accept the premise that some kind of supernatural virus is on the loose in an isolated part the Outback which turns people into carnivorous predators you can watch the group try to work together to survive. Sometimes they get hysterical, and sometimes they do really stupid things but sometimes they actually make intelligent moves. In any case I was entertained.
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5/10
Great B-movie horror fun until the last 20 minutes
scarletheels12 December 2011
Formulaic B-movie horror flick about a group of 20-somethings that venture into the Australian wilderness with their anthropologist friend, Dace (played the very buff and very sexy Wil Traval), to study an ancient cave painting. It's paced well and it's not too long into the movie that Chad's free-spirited girlfriend, Mel, begins a horrific transformation into a frenzied predator that stalks them one by one.

For the gorehounds, there are rocks bashing heads in, teeth falling out, flesh ripping, cannibalism, and much more. Veteran horror fans, it's nothing you haven't witnessed before. The film borders on cheesy but, I have to be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie until the last 20 minutes or so, when the special effects department decided to throw in some hokey CGI and a bizarre attempted impregnation scene between Anja and a seven foot cave-dwelling slug.

Primal isn't so much scary as it is intense. There are quite a few white knuckle moments, as well as a couple of holy sh*t, what the hell was that scenes that will stun and amuse you. It's almost devoid of gratuitous nudity since Mel's transformation from cute blond chick to ravenous killer with three inch fangs happens fairly quickly (sorry, men).

Definitely not recommended to the squeamish type or the casual viewer. If you liked movies like Cabin Fever and The Ruins, you may get a kick out of this return to Ozploitation from writer/director, Josh Reed.
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5/10
Pretty good Australian horror film!!...
MovieGuy019 April 2011
I managed to watch this film on DVD last week and i found it to be a pretty good horror film actually. The story is about a girl called Anja and her five friends who join with this other student called Dace who happens to study anthropology. They decide to go on a journey to study a ancient type of rock painting. But soon after one of their friends called Mel wants to go swimming in this lake as it is nighttime, soon after getting out of the lake Mel finds herself covered in leaches she starts screaming for the others to try and get them off of her body. Eventually they manage to get her back to their tents and is given a bottle of water to drink. But suddenly she begins to bleed very badly. Soon after she begins to physically turn into to a vicious predatory look. So Mels lover and friends begin to realise that they are going to be the prey that she wants to attack, so she starts to begin to hunt them down. I found it to be a very gory film, but i enjoyed watching it very much 5/10
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4/10
Australian twenty somethings encounter ancient evil while studying cave paintings.
suite9229 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Anja, Krew, Lindsay, Kris, and Warren take a trip to the outback led by Dace. They are looking for cave paintings that have not been spotted for 120 years. Anja has some drawings left to her by an uncle from the 19th century. The group finds the site with little incident.

Anja clearly has trepidation about when she reaches the opening of the cave. She has something akin to a panic attack and passes out after cutting herself by incidental contact with the rocks. Unfortunately, the blood of her family has been shed, which goes into the ground and the nearby water. This dooms the party...or does it? That is what the rest of this short film is about.

They get about viewing the rock paintings, taking notes, and shooting photographs. The local fauna (mosquitoes, rabbit) seem to find them tasty. The dead rabbit had some fierce looking teeth, which should have been a clue. Mel's skinny-dipping had some bad side effects. When she came out, there were leeches all over her; that evening she gets a fever and her teeth start falling out.

They try leaving, but the local wildlife have somehow disabled their SUV. By the next morning, Mel's teeth and personality have been replaced. She starts biting, which makes matters worse.

Will anyone get out alive? If so, will they be regular humans?

------Scores-------

Cinematography: 7/10 Fine for the most part, except for interludes of very jerky camera motions.

Sound: 7/10 The actors were adequately miked. The incidental music did not add much to the film.

Acting: 2/10 Wil Traval was OK, The rest of the actors I could have done without.

Screenplay: 4/10 This was a 15 minute story stretched to 84. The monster-human interludes were frequently boring and always unbelievable.

SFX: 4/10 Those monster teeth look like they could never work at all.
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7/10
Nice little surprise from down under
roberthaynes3 June 2011
I love when a little film comes out of nowhere and bites me on the behind and forces me to take it seriously whilst having a whale of a time. Primal is one such film.

Sharp dialogue, believable characters and some pretty nifty visual and makeup effects make this an entertaining and undemanding, often quite subversive time waster.

It's not going to win any awards but that's never the intention with a something like this. At a brisk 80 odd minutes it doesn't hang around long enough to become self indulgent or boring and just when you think you know where it's going the screenwriter throws another curve-ball your way.

One satisfied customer her with a very solid seven out of ten.
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6/10
Primal
Scarecrow-888 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"It's only a f-----g tunnel."

A group of friends are looking for a specific mountain with centuries old paintings considered quite a find, encountering far more than they bargained for. A rabbit, insects, and leeches all exhibit signs of some sort of "rabid mutation" which causes them to hunt down and eat anything in their path, with a ferocity and deranged, uncontrollable craving for human flesh in particular. It starts with a bite, an infection sets in, moving through the blood stream, causing the victim to suffer a mutation which changes him/her into a flesh-eating , blood-thirsty savage. It's only later recognized that the paintings on the mountainous wall wasn't as much telling a story, but warning others of the terrors which lie in wait for anyone who happens to find themselves in this neck of the woods. Along with these sharp fangs which protrude from their mouths, there's a shriek the rabid buggers sound off that's unnerving to say the least.

I'll say this for PRIMAL, the opening hour is really intense and white-knuckle the moment Mel (Krew Boylan) turns and the others must figure out what to do about her as she moves about, seeking prey to devour. When Mel returns after ripping through one of her friend's throats to feed on his carcass, I think we can say that all bets are off and survival is the only option, accepting the fact that what was once your friend no longer exists and only this primeval thing remains. Anja(Zoe Tuckwell-Smith) seems to be the one person who hasn't suffered some sort of infected bite. Chad 's(Lindsay Farris) arm is munched on my his beloved Mel, while Kris(Rebekah Foord) was "knicked" by the mutant rabbit. Dace(Wil Traval) merely takes in some water and not long after quickly turns. This bewildered me because Chad and Kris had been bitten by infected creatures quite a while longer and yet didn't suffer that same sort of quick mutation. No incoherent ramblings. No spitting out teeth. No carnivorous tendencies. It's odd. Oh, but the movie itself gets much odder.

Mel carries the lower torsos of a victim and kangaroo—the portion she *doesn't* eat—to the tunnel Anja is afraid to enter due to severe claustrophobia (she has an "episode" early in the movie when she attempts to travel inside the tunnel) for "sustenance". We see a scene where Mel forces Anja into the opening of the tunnel where she unknowingly escapes it's "tentacles". Chad's naïveté in regards to Mel – that he will not surrender to the fact that she is not the girl he once loved—borders on absolute absurdity..there comes a time when you have to come to that realization that she's gone, especially as Mel's having a cannibal chow-down on your dead friend. Anyway, the ending when we see Kris' unfortunate fate (she's chosen to give birth and takes it upon herself to attempt an *abortion*)and an attempted rape (right out of some weird Japanese hentai )on Anja, I think the film goes a little too far, but one could make that argument during one of Mel's feeding sessions off of a male victim, with sound effects of bones crunching and ripping flesh. The kangaroo "takedown" and rabbit corpse tomfoolery offer other tasteless "highlights". Lots of graphic violence and impressive make-up effects (even the digital effects are rather well done such as when Anja hurls Mel against a tree subsequently snapping her spine or when Mel takes flight) such as flesh wounds and cannibalism, not to mention, heavy stones crushing heads. This kind of movie is designed for those not easily offended. I failed to mention Damien Freeleagus as much needed comedy relief, with the most entertaining character, Warren, with a fate most unkind.
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3/10
what did i just watch?
hj_dutch12 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The movie starts off at fantastic pace, the story progresses nicely, the characters start developing, before the first infection occurs. This is where things just fall apart for the movie - that blonde chick was awful infected. for next hour she tries to chase the group around campfire, with mixed success. As usual the only one one is the girl, who gets raped by some over-sized tube thing with teeth, like a dune worm. oh and she kills the blonde chick. the end.

only watch the movie if you are drunk or stoned. the movie had me laughing out loud on a number of occasions, mainly because it tries too hard and it comes out comical.
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4/10
Primal. Good idea but packed with morons.
gokeymichael1 July 2015
This had good written all over it and then the characters started to interact. Unfortunately these morons had to speak and ruin the movie. First there is the "Sensitive" guy. God, I hate Sensitive Guy. The "Group of Friends" movie genre is a hit or miss proposition. This one swung and missed, not because of the story or the horror effects and not even the acting itself, no, it lost its way simply because of dialogue and character. Take for instance the "Sensitive Guy". This moron was so far out of touch with reality that it made me think he was some Hollywood stereotype of a chick. Trust me, listen to this guy when the crap hits the fan and a decision has to be made. Sure, sensitive people will say that he was just heartbroken, therefor his decisions were off. Bullcrap! He goes from delusional to self righteous in zero point five seconds. I don't know which one was worse. Fightine, bickering, back stabbing and overly sensitive adults. The ultimate failure of a group movie. I've never understood the whole idea of packing five or six people in an SUV and then have them fight for the better part of an hour. It pisses me off. I understand human nature and people packed into an SUV for hours, yeah, someone is going to get cranky and some bickering will ensue. But petty squabbling the entire movie? Yuck. If it weren't for the characters I would have put this in the 7 range for horror and bloodshed.
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3/10
Primal doubt
videorama-759-85939111 December 2017
Here we tiredly go again. 5 20+ too good looking lot (the lead male, currently in Home And Away, big surprise?) go off in the beautiful outdoorsy, mountains for a weekend of fun, and adventure, little do they know scenario. Cliché'd characters and predicabilitie's follow in this hugely disappointing horror indie, and it's a bloody shame, excuse the double meaning pun, as you'll find out, as gore hounds will be sold short on this one. The loud hottie, becomes rapid and possessed, after venturing in this cave, that saw this ritualistic murder, many years, prior. She grows fangs, springs out and attacks, bringing some familiar shades of that horrid and ghastly shocker, Howling 3, 30 years, prior, in this poor explained story, must less gorier than you expect. This messy horror is unforgettably stupid, with poorly drawn characters, where except the female lead and the class clown, you really couldn't give two hoots about the rest, in a horror you'll be glad to see the back off. Just another reason, most Oz horrors suck. Pathetic. Bet you this director, is a real fan of Howling 3, I'd bet my top bottom dollar. Stop at the misleading cover, with this one.
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Excellent for gore and horror
BernesePlease28 January 2011
I was quite entertained with this little horror flick and it doesn't disappoint in the gore department - it is unabashed and unflinching, and far more vivid than any of the usual fair. It rivals the Oz horrors such as Wolf Creek.

The tale is about six young people researching ancient cave paintings in the outback of Australia. A mysterious illness creeps upon one of the young women, stranding the entire party as they fight for survival against the nightmarish force.

Not bad special effects for a low budget film and it keeps up a steady pace of excitement. It's an entertaining 90 minutes despite the last quarter. The ending...well... is full of cheesy, over the top, blatant, symbolism.
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6/10
A film worth watching!
lostieadamds8156 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I decided to watch Primal from its very attractive trailer which should attract any blood-thirsty film addicts. OK, the effects may not be amazing, but it gives enough blood and gore to excite any horror fan. The plot is set out well and the story as a whole works great with a exciting cliffhanger ending. The way each character is turned gives the film a continuous thrill. A scene near the end slightly ruins it for me due to the introduction of the "thing in the cave" which ruined the mystery of the place. Definitely not for the squeamish but a must for anyone else who isn't fussed by the cheap effects and just wants a satisfactory thrill.
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8/10
A solid B-Movie indie zombie flick. Actually brings something new to the table
Robert_duder14 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
There are many genres of films that are incredibly hard to bring anything new to the table. Zombie/Horror flicks are absolutely that. It has been a long time since I've seen a good zombie movie especially one that does actually try to be unique and not only that but does so with a low budget and B-Movie qualities but Primal actually pulls it off. They mix together the group of campers in the woods idea with a monster/disease type killer that turns them against each other and essentially into zombies. The special effects and in particular the gore are very well done and will leave the most adamant of horror and zombie fans satisfied. Plenty of action, and gratuitous kills although surprisingly light on the normal amount of B-Movie gratuitous nudity since the main sex-kitten type role is almost immediately turned into a zombie and basically becomes the main killer in the film. The entire movie basically is set in a small area of woods and that setting always works well especially for a horror film. Basically the film maker did everything right to make this entertaining.

Krew Boylan is the aforementioned "sex-kitten" type role. She is blonde, and voluptuous and a little wild to make the guys happy but she is also the first one to become the killer. Boylan is not a well known actor but she does well in this film but her best performance is well after she becomes the killer zombie. In this role she really shines being a deranged killer. Zoe Tuckwell-Smith is the main heroine of the story. She does decently well and she plays a strong female lead but unfortunately her character is a little empty and doesn't get a big character arc. They try to give her some emotion but it just doesn't really click. She is just okay and doesn't stand out as the lead. Wil Traval is solid as the male hero of the story and romantic interest for Tuckwell-Smith. Traval definitely plays a better hero and has some great action scenes. I can't really say too much else about the supporting cast. They are decent and they have their moments but supporting is about all they do. None of them stand out. I'm not saying they are bad, in fact they do a good job but they are just fodder for the monster when all is said and done.

I have this thing for Australian horror films. That is actually how I found Primal because I searched specifically for that genre. Something about the isolation of the outback makes for such a great horror setting. While Primal doesn't actually use the outback as we know it, it still has that isolation feel and quality about it. Director and writer Josh Reed doesn't have a ton of experience but he clearly knows how to have fun with his ideas and he is probably a great fan of horror films because he knows how to entertain. Primal won't be the best horror film you've ever seen and maybe it can't even be compared to other 8/10 horror flicks but for what it was worth it entertained me and I enjoyed it beginning to end. Usually with a B-Movie flick like this you know right away whether the characters or the story or the special effects are going to be downright awful or acceptable and entertaining and Primal falls into that latter category. 8/10
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2/10
Not good at all
Alexander666DeLarge5 November 2013
This Australian movie "oozes" low budget. From the remote campsite setting, to the six bland friends (3 boys, 3 girls) and the bad acting. But with these tropes in the movie, there can still be the factor that it is enjoyable.

Unfortunately I did not enjoy this movie. It starts off with a prologue of a Caveman making cave drawings. He is attacked by some sort of deformed human with long sharp teeth (actually if you played the Mortal Kombat games, its Baraka, the creature looks like an updated Baraka). Some years pass, and we find ourselves in present day Australia, or at least somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Six happy friends led by anthropology student and Alpha Male named, Dace, the group sets out in to the wilderness to look for some cave drawings. Once they are in the cave, one of them, Anja, cuts her arm and her blood drips into the moist surface of the cave. After that we see some parts of the nature react, something bad is rising…

The group sets up camp and because this is a low budget horror movie, there needs to be skinny-dipping. Once the blond girl of the group, Mel, goes into the water, she wants to lure her boyfriend Chad in, but he's afraid of water or something, it doesn't get quite clear why he doesn't want to go in. But luckily for him, after Mel comes out she's covered with leeches. After Alpha Male Dace used salt to get them off, Mel goes to sleep, just to wake up in the middle of the night with a fever. The group wants to take her to the hospital, but the car tires are being eaten by… killer ants. So they plan to go on foot, but sweet Mel finally turns in to a female Baraka and start to attack everyone.

From that point on the movie goes around in circles. The same thing happens over and over again. The group guards the camp, Mel kills one of them, they fight her off, and repeat. A movie like this can be a lot of fun if the humor was funny, which is not, even the unintentionally bad acting doesn't make up for it. The gory effects are OK, but not much present. The only recommendation I can give this movie is if you want to see a Kangaroo get attack by a turned human, than you're in luck, this movie has that. Not to give the ending away, but it had some really bad effects, and made everything more unclear.

But in the end, all the clichés, bad acting, the repetitive nature of it all, it saddens me to say that it doesn't make for a good horror movie. Although I hope that the director keeps making movies, hopefully the next time will be better.

+ It has a killer rabbit

+ Decomposing Kangaroo

-Bad Acting

-Repetitive story

-Not enough gore
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3/10
unimpressed
RachelMary210 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This film was disappointing but in many ways it shouldn't have been, young peeps in the remote outback, monsters with teeth (scary teeth), what can go wrong? It starts off pretty well as the characters are believable enough and the backstory makes sense. I started getting bored when the insects arrived at the camp. Perhaps I missed it, but what were these insects? What were they doing? They ate a big hole in a tent and a bag, but then seemed to go away. They reappeared however when the peeps get back to their car, finding the insects had eaten the tyres. Obvious escape route thwarted but puzzling how these insects were so selective in what they ate and didn't eat! I was also puzzled by the ending- it just seemed rushed given the build up.
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7/10
Back to basics
kosmasp1 November 2010
Starts off pretty good and can hold that level up until the end (in my book). Key factor are the characters and the actors who play them. While the story seems quite worn out, the characters elevate the whole thing a bit. While not really likable and maybe even quite annoying to some viewers, they do stick out.

The script was nicely written and even the very low budget of the whole thing shouldn't bother you. And while quite a few things might not go as you would want them to play out, I really dug the ending of the whole thing. Which made the movie experience for me, very satisfying (and most of the people who watched it at the Frightfest with me). So bear with it, if you can and watch out for the "killer" line at the end (pun very much intended)
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3/10
Vegetabal
asda-man2 September 2011
Austrailian's seem to be making good horror films nowadays, with "Wolf Creek" and "The Loved Ones" to name the best. But, like any country, they've got to slip up somewhere and here it's Josh Reed's "Primal" which is more "Vegetabal" to be honest with you. It has no intelligence, no drive and is as brain dead as the zombies!

Like almost every horror film it starts with about 5 friends going on a trip into the wilderness and ends up into a fight for survival with a concept that could've actually been pretty good, but instead turned clichéd and unexciting. "Primal" should've been cool, but from the first look of that bad puppet rabbit with the sharp teeth, you know it's going to be a little bit naff, and it was.

The set-pieces were on of the low-lights of the film, it was obvious that the actors were struggling with keeping the massive fangs in their mouths, so why have them? All the characters were annoying, there was not one you couldn't warm to until they turned into zombies. It's OK to have one or two unlikable characters, but if you can't warm to anyone then there's no excitement if they're running for survival because you can't root for them! Also,you can't feel bad for them when they do turn which is really bad! Likable characters are the key link to a good slasher/survival horror film.

The film didn't go anywhere, it had no drive and resorted to annoying people acting annoying standing around panicking instead of doing something. The majority of the film was the characters arguing about what to do so the film was ultimately stalled. Don't get me wrong it started off OK with the kids trying to trap the zombie friend, but then it feel apart about as much as there plans.

Also, the directing and editing was really bad. It seemed to resemble an 80's pop video at times and tried to cram too much style into it. At times the camera was shaking like a drunk at a wedding which I find incredibly annoying. So basically, the screenplay, directing and editing were all bad and considering this Josh Reed bloke wrote, edited and directed the film. He should stick to his day job.

Then the film turned horrendously bad at the end, confusing an already mashed genre (slasher/horror/survival) with another element! I won't spoil it for you but it's just plain weird and makes no sense what so ever! "Primal" is like a really old battered car with no steering wheel. It doesn't look nice and it doesn't go any where. It's another example of a film with a nice concept but executed in the poorest of ways, with a lazy script, bad editing and grotesque directing. I would stay clear from these woods.
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Best Lit Horror Movie I can remember
byolaf27 September 2011
This is a classic 'take your friends to the woods and kill them' first-time horror movie, but it's so much better than other similar movies that it deserves a watch.

First, I want to commend the outstanding lighting. I can't remember a better lighted movie. Every scene is just as dark or as bright as it needs to be, you're never confused about who is where or what is what. If you're a student of lighting or cinematography, especially if you want to make horror, this is a mandatory watch.

The cinematography is also very good throughout, never betraying a budget, as are the effects. The director holds his cast through what must have been a fairly frustrating shoot for some of the actors (you get to wear blood makeup for 3/4's of the movie! We're nowhere near a shower!). This is a professional movie, and I couldn't tell if it was made for 1 million or 10.

The writing is well above par for this type of movie. There is a character who makes decisions that are very frustrating for the viewer and freezes more than you want him to, but that is good writing, not bad as some reviewers have complained. You get a feeling from the script that these people know each other and have relationships deeper than what you see. The plot moves along at a nice clip, and the comedy comes at the right moments to relieve tension and is genuinely funny. The last line works in a special kind of way where it's predictable, you want it said, and yet it brings a smile to your lips when it is said.

One more thing, the gore is pretty normal for the whole movie, but the ending turns to a couple of concepts that definitely pushed me past my comfort zone and made me feel very squeamish. While most of the movie is horror of the jump-scare sort or the tension sort, the last few minutes get to some psychological horror that is genuinely disturbing. It felt scary and squidgy at the time, but it was appropriate and elevated the movie past a basic type of horror movie.

Hokay, so I'm giving this a 10 because it seems horribly low-rated to me. I think the movie did everything it set out to do, is scary, funny, and fun in parts, and feels like a complete piece. It gets a lot of average ratings but it doesn't feel like an average film. I see that a lot of people dislike the ending, but I'm not sure what they wanted/expected. The script went where it wanted to go. The ending ramps up the gore and is all but certain to shock you. Definitely worth a watch for yourself to see if you agree with them or me.
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6/10
That poor kangaroo
lovecraft2313 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Sometimes, horror fans-myself included-tend to bemoan the fact that there isn't much originality in the horror genre, in spite of the fact that it's been self-cannibalizing for God knows how long. "Oh look, another zombie movie" or "Yep, more dumb kids getting killed by a hulking, masked psychopath." You get the idea. Yet sometimes, a movie without any originality whatsoever comes by, and you say "to hell with it, this is fun for what it is." Case in point is 2010's "Primal", which could best be described as what would happen if you took "The Evil Dead", "Cabin Fever", "The Descent", "The Ruins", and some Roger Corman produced alien movie from the 80's with a pinch of a 21st century zombie movie, mixed them in a blender, and then dumped them in Australia.

Anja (Zoe Tuckwell-Smith) and five of her pals join anthropology student Dace (Wil Travel) to study some remote ancient rock paintings. Well, Mel (Krew Boylan) feels sick after skinny dipping in a waterhole, and the next thing you know, she's sporting really sharp teeth and hunting down and killing anyone who isn't like her. Why? It turns out that there's something in the water that causes you to become a primal, almost mutated and super fast killing machine, and to make things worse, it begins to spread. Oh, and there's that thing in the cave...

"Primal" is not a great horror movie. The unnecessary slow motion and a bad sex joke near the end feel out of place, the score is unremarkable, and the CGI effects are atrocious. Plus, there's the fact that you've seen it all before. There isn't one thing in this movie that's original, and the title "Cliche the Motion Picture" probably would have been more fitting. And in spite of all of that, I still found myself having fun for the large part.

It's clear that writer/director Josh Reed knows what he's doing-a pastiche of other, better horror films-but as far as pastiche pictures go, this isn't that bad. While a few jokes fall flat, more of them actually work, and I got a few hearty laughs out of some of the situations (a bit involving a kangaroo being tackled and killed is especially funny.) There also aren't any real scares available, but there's plenty of bloodshed, a bit of nudity from Boylan, and enough energy and enthusiasm to help it get along. It also helps that while nothing excellent, the performances get the job done, and the actors manage not to annoy the viewer or embarrass themselves with pointless mugging.

Is "Primal" some kind of classic? Very far from it. It is however, a fun little "beer and pizza with your friends" horror film, and proves to be a decent little time waster. Maybe sometimes, just sometimes, originality is a bit overrated.
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7/10
cheesy ending
trashgang21 December 2011
This is director Josh Reed first attempt to make a full feature. I must say that I was rather surprised. It's clearly a low budget but it doesn't show in the way they used the camera's and did the editing. The only way it shows is the use of some CGI towards the end of the flick. It becomes even a bit cheesy and I can understand that youngsters will find it a kind of stupid. I thought I even saw some stop/motion.

The story itself isn't your typical storyline. Again, a lot of horror geeks will leave this flick for what it is. But was it then all that bad? No, I enjoyed it although it doesn't really deliver. It's surely not a slasher or a redneck hillbilly flick. I would put it against The Ruins. It's a bit of the same thing going on.

On the part of the horror itself I already wrote that it doesn't deliver really creepy parts but on the part of gore it do give some nasty shots. But if you have seen many horrors like I did (more then a few thousands, yep, started in the early eighties) then you can guess who is going to be the hero or heroin, who's going to die first, you know, it's a bit predictable. Luckily the acting was rather good. I really enjoyed Anja (Zoe Tuckwell-Smith) and let her having a main part did add something towards the flick.

If the end wouldn't have been that cheesy or even camp I guess it would have a bigger vote by some. But if you can stand a story that isn't believable or can stand cheap CGI then you will love it.

Strange storyline, the blood do flows, some gory shots and one nudity, yep, a primal horror.

Gore 3/5 Nudity 1/5 Effects 3/5 Story 3/5 Comedy 0/5
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1/10
Hopeless to the extreme
blighter-soul1 November 2012
Acting is novice, rather utterly dumb! Concept is yuck and the movie is a total failure. What on earth do you spend money to make movies like this for?

Anger watching this movie all the way. Throw in a bunch of sadists and make a useless film.

Acting; -10/10 Concept; -7/10

You are better off watching a cartoon show rather than this movie. Showing some gooey stuff with vampiric teeth does not make a movie a horror flick. Recommendation: A strict no!

One of the most insanely stupid movies to be ever made.
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7/10
Cabin Fever meets werewolves, and the outcome is definitely worthy!
nitzanhavoc19 January 2013
The Horror genre, as underrated as it might be, has several sub-genres that us Horror freaks know how to recognize and differentiate. "Primal" is a well made and nicely assembled combination of the virus/plague sub genre (like Cabin Fever) and various werewolves films. It uses just the right amount of motives and aspects of each of these sub-genres, and remains realistic and scary enough to be very enjoyable as a Horror film.

The screenplay is good, with a clever script (and some very amusing dialogues giving us a nice, if short, occasional comic relief), the characters are reasonably realistic, and the make-up/effects department sure has done its homework.

I must say the ending lacked, as is the case with many Horror films. "Primal" could have used a more elaborate one, better explaining the weird occurrences of the final 15 minutes so they don't appear to be coming out of the blue and almost forced.

All in all, "Primal" isn't a masterpiece, but is a good and enjoyable film, and I'd recommend it to any Horror fan.
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5/10
entertaining flick
tsolidas1 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this film recently and thought it was a nice take on the parasite genre. I thought the acting was decent and the gore was there. It is a low budget horror film so one can't expect a huge thing from it but I found it to never bore me and it makes wish to see a sequel. some of the fx looked fake but overall not bad for an indie film.

The film is about a group of people who go camping only to have one of them go swimming and getting leeches on her. After that she becomes infected and starts getting sharp teeth and attacking others. Also there is a cave that harbors some weird slug creature that impregnates the girls.

I thought the makeup was nicely done but the way they killed the main bd chick at the very ending was kinda cheesy. Fun film to watch though.
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7/10
Enyojable Australian Horror Thriller movie !
seckinlergafri20 November 2017
Primal is a horror film from Australia directed by Josh Reed.

The plot: Anja, Mel, Dace, Kris, Warren and Chad are six people on vacation and they enter the forest where the prehistoric painting is located as well as study it ... But the nightmare comes .. Mel's mysterious illness turned into a bloodthirsty mutant. One by one of them die .. Only Anja who still survive Will He succeed Congratulations ??? Review: the movie is quite tension .. Quite a lot of gore scenes disgusting ... Acting is pretty good from the cast in this movie .....
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6/10
Better than Expected
ikeybabe29 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This was certainly better than I expected. It starts off with the typical group of young people going off into the jungle (woods, desert, mountains, whatever) to look at ancient drawings (hike, ski, snowboard, explore caves, whatever) and they come across something out of the ordinary, in this case a poisonous lake that *SPOILER ALERT* turns their dear friend into a cannibal rage-monster with super human strength and agility. So, all of this is typical, but for once the acting was decent. The script twists and turns were pretty good too and the heroine was cool enough that I was cheering for her, since she had way more balls then the cowardly boyfriend who couldn't accept that his girl was now a monster. Anyway, this has one of the most horrific rape scenes I've ever seen. And, in the end the heroine triumphs. So, it's all good. This wasn't great, but it was certainly worth watching.
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