Primeval Review

Poster Art Country : USA
Year: 2007
Genre: Creature Feature
Format: Cinema
Running Time: t/b/a
Distributor: Touchstone Pictures

An intrepid film crew ventures into uncharted territory deep within the South Africa wild, where a terrifying killer who is not even human is waiting to make them next on its insatiable list....

Directed by Michael Katleman. Written by John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris. Starring Dominic Purcell, Orlando Jones, Brooke Langton, Gideon Emery and Jurgen Prochnow.

I usually hate ‘killer animal’ films of any kind. So going into the screening, I had no idea that is actually a ‘killer animal’ flick. I probably would have skipped it and waited for the DVD. But, if you have seen the trailer, its misleading nature of the advertising billing it as “the most prolific serial killer in history”, brings you to believe that you are literally seeing a serial killer film. However, Primeval (starring Dominic Purcell) is actually one of the better horror films I have seen lately. It's much scarier and a whole lot gorier than most of the crap being pumped out at the cinema these days.

Talk about fish out of water....

Primeval tells the story of a bloodthirsty killer crocodile that has claimed over three hundred victims, and is still at large to this day. The danger begins as producer Tim (Purcell) Freeman, cameraman Steven (Orlando Jones) Johnson and their rag-tag team set out on a journey up-river in search of their subject. But the deeper they probe into the mystery of this elusive monster, the deadlier their trip becomes.

I'm not the first to say it, but there is no better way to describe Primeval than to say it's Jaws on the veldt. As the man-eating croc’s tail swishes visibly above the dry African grasses or the murky water, you can't help but hum the shark attack music that has become a cultural icon. Purcell is good, Jurgen Prochnow is always great, and Orlando Jones is funny. They really carry the entire film.

Barbecue, anyone?

Primeval isn't bad as a matinee distraction, but goodness knows it isn't great, either. I can however recommend it as a good date-jumping-in-your-lap movie; it's more laughable than scary. The major plus to this film are the “OH SHIT!" moments, and there are plenty of them. The croc is a beast, the gore is sweet, but the direction of Michael Katleman is plain scary….scarier than the damn film in itself. This movie might have been better if they had a better director. It was all over the place with the pacing, the gore, the humor etc….Not to mention a lot of the time, you couldn’t tell what the hell was going and who was in danger. I HATE THAT!

Soooo….three-hundred-thirty dead guys/gals/kids/dogs/goats later, Primeval ends just about as you'd expect -- with ‘the gang’ walking away, and an audience chorusing "yeah, whatever." It’s worth a look though.


Review by John Gray, for Pitofhorror.com

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