Saturday 15 June 2019

Shudder Saturday: Boar (2017)

What is it about killer pig movies? Why do people keep trying to make them when most of them end up not being very good? I've sat through Pig Hunt, Prey (the best of the bunch), and now this. Okay, I have yet to see the celebrated Razorback, an oversight on my part, but it's not often that I get excited when I hear someone is releasing a new killer pig/boar movie. I decided to give Boar a chance nonetheless, and started to regret it within the first half hour.

I could describe the plot here, trying to add some details that might make you think there are characters and events to care about, but that would be making this into something it isn't. There ARE characters and events here, they're just not worth caring about. Seriously, not one. Okay, maybe one, or even two (I'll mention them soon), but they're not even the main characters that we're supposed to care about during the grand finale. This is a monster movie, pure and simple. It's about a huge beastie with a huge snout that likes to maul puny humans. And it occasionally delivers some decent gore.

Writer-director Chris Sun is trying to make something here that sits more in line with films like Tremors (the benchmark for monster movies that have a great seam of comedy running through them) and Lake Placid and that could be admirable. The fact that it is so far removed from those films, so poorly mishandled, instead makes it something that many viewers may end up resenting. There's no tension here, that dissipates quickly enough when you realise that the part of the movie that Sun thinks can provide most amusement is the "stunt" casting of people like Bill Moseley, John Jarratt, and Roger Ward.

Thankfully, that casting provides one or two pleasures. Nobody else really makes much of an impression (I wouldn't be able to point out Hugh Sheridan, Steve Bisley, Simone Buchanan, Christie-Lee Britten, Madeleine Kennedy, or any of the others, from a line-up right now) but Nathan Jones does okay in his role, and the aforementioned genre stars are at least given some moments to shine as the film hops from one redundant scene to the next. Jarratt and Ward are the real highlights, with the latter giving a particularly wonderful performance that makes you wish the film was good enough to deserve it.

There's nothing more that I can really talk about here. Boar is, in a horrible irony, often quite a bore. Those decent moments of gore aren't enough to make up for the rest of the film, which is too concerned with trying to make things quirky and comedic, to the detriment of what the film could have been, which is a creature feature with an impressive creation at the centre of things (the practical FX work here is another plus point). It still has scenes that work in that regard, but they're stuck between a multitude of scenes that don't ever manage to get the tone right.


You can buy the movie here.
Americans can buy A disc here (but only if you can play other regions).

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