Boar Shudder

{Movie Review} Boar Goes Hilariously Whole Hog

Shudder’s newest addition Boar is a bloody good time from start to finish.  Never did moist pig snouts look so good.  Well written dialogue and fantastic practical effects combine to create a solid example of the animal attacks subgenre.  This is not the kind of movie to think too seriously about, rather something to savor like a fully loaded, extra cheese pizza.  You probably shouldn’t analyze too closely how much you are enjoying it.
It’s a premise seen before. 

Boar will undoubtedly get compared to the 1984 classic schlock-fest Razorback.  The similarities are obvious.  The monster is the same, the location the same, and the less than deep plot seems similar as well.  Where they differ is the effective practical creature work, and a glut of quality Australian actors.  These aren’t B movie actors, but well-known and respected Aussie actors.  Those differences keep the film from teetering into the absurd and staying firmly on solid ground.  An ungodly big wild pig terrorizes the bucolic Australian countryside.  SO many members of the community-run face-first into the beast and buckets of blood are spilled along the way.   That’s all you need to know.

Like so many animals gone wild movies, it’s often easier to root for the animals rather than the humans.  The humans in question primarily fall in this category.  Most of them are obnoxious(in a lovable way), misogynistic(not so lovable) downright stupid, disrespectful, and weak.  That’s not to say they aren’t fun to watch, they are just a lot more fun to see get eaten.  Most films of this genre follow this same formula.  Boar doesn’t push any boundaries, but when a simple premise is done well it’s successful.

The characters, including the pissed-off pig in, are a ton of fun to watch.  They are larger than life, some quite literally and come fully loaded with sound bites guaranteed to be repeated at many a party.  I reckon I have never heard anyone say “mate” or “reckon” so many times in the span of ninety minutes, but it works.  It’s a bizarre kind of dork charm that warms your heart even as you roll your eyes.  Unbelievable gems like “eat the crotch out of a low flying duck”, roll off the screen at a quick pace.  I don’t have any idea what that means and don’t care.  I’ve already worked it into a conversation.  The one-liners come fast and furious at the beginning before the pig gets busy so pay close attention so you don’t miss any of these one of a kind quotes.

There are a few sequencing issues that detract from the building tension.  The protagonist’s family introduced at the beginning is curiously missing from thirty minutes of the film making it difficult to develop a relationship with the characters.  The pig, although impressive, is shown very early on which prohibited the punch of a big reveal.  With a beast as well done as this, it is a shame that the anticipation wasn’t built more.  Lastly, the dread-filled exposition section of the film comes too late.  The big scene usually delivered by someone wise and important right before they get killed comes nearly an hour into the film after the pig has eviscerated many unfortunates.  If it had come earlier in the drama or explained why the boar is so huge it would have provided a clear through-line.

The plot is thin, but it doesn’t have to be a meaty thought project to still be entertaining.  The killer porcine in question is massive.  It is inexplicably big and there is no big toxic dump plotline to explain it.  There’s just an angry, dino-pig running wild through the Outback chomping on people.  I wish we had been given a few bread crumbs to follow on this.  I will be honest all of that is forgotten however when Bernie(Nathan Jones) surprisingly breaks out into an enthusiastic Ice Ice Baby in the last half of the film.  It is an engaging moment of humor that catches you off guard.  If the pop/rap interlude doesn’t hook you, the rumble between a gutted but still punching Bernie and the homicidal animal will.  It is a piece of epic glory!

Good sound work adds to the horror of a massive rutting pig.  Everything sounds wet and gross. The use of “pig vision” to give the movie watcher hog POV is reminiscent of some of the best giant bug films of the ’70s and ’80s and the setting could not be prettier.  Editing is competent and directing consistent.  Standouts performances are John Jarrett(Wolf Creek), the aforementioned Jones, and Hugh Sheridan whose Robert is so loathsome his goring comes as a relief.  I mean that as a compliment.

All in all the titled creature and the giant, Jones are the stars of the show.  The family matters less than these two which steal every scene they are in.  This is a fun romp through an authentically Australian wilderness.  The characters are plucked right from Down Under and the pig is as frightening as it is hysterical.  If Boar taught us anything it’s make sure and bring your guns to the Australian Outback because bullets trump tusks any day.  Or do they…..

Boar is out on Shudder today.  For a free 30 days use the promo code Signal.  

Have your say