The first thing you need to know about Rogue, an Australian horror movie about a killer crocodile is that it’s inspired by true events. The giant killer crocodile jokingly nicknamed Sweetheart was responsible for a string of attacks in the late seventies. He would come up to boats and start chomping them although they were oftentimes made out of wood and hard plastic. Rogue takes the premise of that story and realistically morphs it into a suspenseful survival situation.
Fucking Aussies man, if they know one it’s to make great crocodile movies. We’ve already talked about this at length in our Rabbit Reviews list of Best Crocodile Movies. So, if you’re looking for more of the same and to learn more about the Australian contribution to this genre, do check it out. The title Rogue refers to rogue crocodiles who separate themselves from other crocs in the area which makes them more dangerous. We will be following a group of tourists who stumble upon one such creature with devastating results.
You can count on magnificent scenes of pristine Australian nature. Rivers, forests, and little creeks all look almost magical. They look like a place where man should not be and where the old rules still apply. However, humans will be humans, an invasive species always looking for the next big thing. The characters in Rogue were surprisingly well-written and developed. They feel like real people and once the shit hits the proverbial fan this makes the movie even more intense. Although this shouldn’t come as surprise as the director is none other than Greg McLean (Wolf Creek).
Meet Kate Ryan, a wildlife researcher who also runs boat tours deep in the Australian Kakadu National Park. The main attractions are giant crocodiles who roam these protected areas with impunity. This tour seems just like any other with tourists from all over the world flocking to see these might beasts in their natural habitat. However, things are about to go wrong, very wrong. And Kate will have to use all her wits to get them out of there alive.
I never thought that Radha Mitchell would have it in her to play this type of role so flawlessly. Our supporting cast isn’t too shabby either. We’ve got Sam Worthington, Mia Wasikowska and immortal John Jarratt. Exactly twenty years ago he starred in another awesome Australian movie about crocodiles, Dark Age. He’s also the lead in Greg McLean’s best movie to date, Wolf Creek. And while Rogue’s main story seems predictable once things start happening, the movie gets increasingly unpredictable.
The visuals are excellent and our killer croc looks really believable. Long gone are the days of mechanical contraptions that look like toys. This croc feels and moves like the real thing. And once it starts moving towards someone, you get this uneasy feeling in your stomach. Like you’re him or her and you’re about to fucking die. The comparisons to Jaws are inevitable and the movie even uses the “bigger boat” line. In my opinion, it’s really not fair to draw any comparisons as they are so wildly different in terms of the atmosphere, storytelling and general vibe.
Finally, I just want to add that Rogue ends on a high note giving us a spectacular finale. Finale we didn’t even know we wanted. It proves just how good of a director and writer Greg McLean is and I can’t wait to see his next movie.
Director: Greg McLean
Writer: Greg McLean
Cast: Radha Mitchell, Michael Vartan, Sam Worthington, Mia Wasikowska, Stephen Curry
Fun Stuff: When Pete enters the bar he sees a wall full of pictures of giant crocodiles. All those pictures are real.