Boys and Girls, get your popcorn ready…. because this is a historic occasion. My first (mostly) positive movie review here on The Nerd Mentality! Primal Rage gives a new twist to the Bigfoot lore by incorporating Native American beliefs and some very well thought out writing (imagine that!).
The basic premise of Primal Rage is like the usual monster/horror movie. Boy and girl get lost in the woods, a dopey sheriff has a crisis of conscience while searching for them, creepy, rapey hunters show up and so on. But the difference with this movie is newcomers Casey Gagliardi and Andrew Joseph Montgomery, who do an above average job keeping us engaged. They have a complicated backstory that you want to know more about… and the young duo has a great love/hate chemistry that you can really feel. Kudos to these two!
I’m not the biggest fan of the horror genre. I grew up in the 80’s where everything was blood, guts, hack, and slash… the more gory, the better. I really dislike that type of lazy movie making. That isn’t the case here. Director/Writer, Patrick Magee, does a good job of letting the characters develop with above average dialogue and not jumping straight into the horror without first building suspense. Hell, the monster’s first kill doesn’t happen until 55 minutes into the movie.
However, this movie is not without its flaws. Outside of Montgomery and Gagliardi, the acting leaves a lot to be desired. The visuals are a mixed bag. There are some absolutely brilliant uses of old-school camera tricks in hiding the monster in plain sight and I know from experience how damn difficult it is to shoot in a wet, rainy forest.
Some of the edits are just atrocious. The use of drone video can be cool when incorporated correctly. But using the same shots over and over tells me that either they ran over budget, time or both. There are ways to cover that easily. And I see what the writer was doing by trying to put the “Native American” twist into the Bigfoot genre… I’m just not sure it was necessary here. This element of the movie wasn’t bad… it wasn’t good… it was just there.
What I LOVED about this movie is the ending. No, I’m not being a smart-ass in saying that I was glad the movie ended. Without giving any spoilers, I can say that Primal Rage incorporates a finale that isn’t “shocking”… but it is used in some of the greatest movies of all time (think “Empire Strikes Back”).
Primal Rage Overall (6.5/10)
Primal Rage shows what some people who are dedicated to their craft can do with a minimal budget, some D.I.Y. ingenuity and a lot of heart. Not perfect… but I was pleasantly surprised by this release from Blue Fox Entertainment. I’m looking forward to some more of their releases.