Rogue Greg McLean

Most will likely dismiss Rogue as another low budget, "Sci-Fi Original,” quality monster movie based solely on the "Dimension Extreme” tag and "Unrated” cover, featuring the blood-drenched jaws of a killer crocodile. It’s an interesting selling tactic, seeing that the film is more of a mainstream thriller (with a 14A rating in Canada) than raunchy, juvenile horror. Rogue, like some other recent "Dimension Extreme” releases, is an above average, theatrical-quality thrill ride that’s tautly directed, professionally acted, unpretentious and deserving of far more attention than it has currently received. Those familiar with director Greg McLean’s minor hit Wolf Creek will be unsurprised by the structural integrity of the film and attention to detail. His understanding of genre conventions is clear, knowing intuitively when to adhere and defy them without making his films into a smug academic exercise. Rogue follows the standard monster movie formula: a boat full of tourists led by Kate Ryan (Radha Mitchell) find themselves stranded in the Northern Australian Outback after a crocodile sightseeing expedition goes awfully wrong. This diversified group, which includes a social pariah (Stephen Curry), mourning widower (John Jarratt) and American Nancy boy travel writer (Michael Vartan), experience minor conflicts and connections while dealing with their own mortality and concocting various survivalist tactics to get themselves away from a relentless killer croc. Thankfully this is all handled believably and character faults are derived organically, even as clichés rear their ugly head when Kate’s hunky-hunky and uber-wild ex-boyfriend (Sam Worthington) shows up seemingly to save the day. The DVD release boasts almost two hours of featurettes and documentaries that examine every aspect of the production in an interesting, informative and educational manner. Greg McLean’s documentary on the making of the film examines production problems, shooting in 50-degree weather, actor perspectives, visual effects, cinematography and cinematic intent without the usual peppy, pre-packaged pretence that most "making of” featurettes suffer from. Additional mini-commentaries that focus on effects, music and the outback continue to be analytical and involving, giving a far more sincere glance at what filming this movie was like. This is a pretty impressive DVD, offering an entertaining film and thoughtful features. (Alliance)