HORROR; 1hr 39min
STARRING: Radha Mitchell, Michael Vartan
Crocodile tears: Mitchell
In the exponentially creepy Wolf Creek, writer-director Greg McLean took a hard look at a human crocodile, played with toxic intensity by John Jarratt. The actor also features in McLean’s latest chiller, Rogue, this time as a tourist in a group stranded on a tiny river island in Australia’s Northern Territory after their boat is attacked by a colossal saltwater crocodile.
McLean spends the first 30 minutes or so building a contemplative atmosphere, the better to shatter it when the massive reptile makes its moves. The contrast between the soothing beauty of the landscape and what lurks beneath isn’t lost on the film-maker, nor is the importance of the character-driven build. So while the intrepid ensemble cast pulls the tension together, cinematographer Will Gibson gets busy with nervy work that puts the audience in the centre of the mounting panic. As a delineation of endurance and a descent into the hell of anyone’s deepest fears, this is horror at its most elemental.