Primal (2010)

Primal posterI did not expect much out of this film. The graphics aren’t that good and the characters are stereotypical, but there are some enjoyable, unexpected surprises. The plot is pretty unique and interesting which is highlighted by heaps of blood-stained imagery. It has a similar feel to Wolf Creek and Cabin Fever. The scenery is quite captivating with its ominous, Amazonian feel. Isolation and mother-nature can conjure up some hidden, innate fears.

Twelve thousand years ago, ancient Indians painted hieroglyphics on rocks and were plagued by ravenous human-like creatures. Today, six friends go on a road trip in search of these rock paintings, which have not been seen in person for 120 years. They hope to decipher these ancient symbols, but they will soon discover that these symbols are not a story but a warning. Unfortunately, they discover this too late.

Mel, the ditsy, promiscuous blonde, and Anja, the serious brunette, are two key characters. When they reach the site, Anja is noticeably distressed when they enter the cave. Is she claustrophobic? Does she know something the others don’t? Her fear (and hopefully overcoming her fear) comes into play later on in the film. Settling in, the friends encounter strange things like bug infestations and rabid, mutant-looking rabbit attacks. The Blonde, Mel, in typical form, wants to go skinny-dipping. After being covered by leeches, she wakes in the middle of the night with a fever, hallucinating, with her teeth falling out. This part in particular is akin to Cabin Fever.

Primal-2010The next morning, the friends discover Mel tearing a rabbit apart with her new teeth. She is the saber-tooth girlfriend you don’t want- with razor-like teeth and an insatiable appetite. She looks a lot like the vampires in 30 days of Night. The makeup is very similar, but not as polished. The group can’t leave because the bugs have eaten through their tires. And to make matters worse, the friends turn on each other coming to an agreement on whether to kill or be killed.

This Australian film does pack a punch at times; action-packed and full of stunts, almost seeming like it is influenced by martial arts. The flesh-eating scenes are slimy and blood-gushing. Some good stuff for sure. As expected though, the good scenes are commonly followed by a bad scene. One scene in particular, after Mel has gruesomely devoured the neck of one of her former friends; one girl mourns over the loss, crying over his dead body. But all I could focus on was the dead guy’s underwear band aptly labeled ‘cocksox’. A little distracting if I do say so.

primal 2010Near the very end, claustrophobic Anja has to go back to the cave and face her fears. But there is something evil about this cave. It gets really weird at this part and takes a 180 turn. These scenes, though cheesy with some terrible CGI effects, raise a lot of questions as to the origin of this rabid plague. I wish they touched on this more and had shown this earlier to expand on it. It would have been an interesting route to take the movie. This is a decent film scattered with numerous flaws, but the acting and story isn’t terrible; almost making it worth-while to watch. Almost.

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Primal (2010) on IMDb

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