Written and Directed by: Josh Reed
A group of friends venture into the wilds of Australia to study an ancient rock painting, and comes face to face with an ancient evil when one of them experiences a terrifying transformation. The excursion was going great until Mel decided to go skinny-dipping in a nearby basin, and emerges bloodied and confused. Later, when Mel starts to sprout razor sharp teeth and appears to turn rabid, her friends become the prey in a vicious, bloody hunt. Before long yet another one of them begins showing signs of infection, prompting the rest of the group to fight for their lives with everything they’ve got. Retreating into a cave as a last, desperate measure, the remaining survivors discover that the mysterious painting they came to study could hold the secret to the horrifying curse.
Just about every Australian horror film I’ve seen tends to be really good. For the most part, Australia cranks out some quality horror. Primal, is a pretty darn good movie overall. It’s a film full of heart pounding intensity and bloody gore! I was really into various scenes in this movie and it is the perfect type of movie to watch so close to Halloween. I couldn’t help but think of demons, Evil Dead, Cabin Fever, and even The Ruins while I was watching it. The influences at times are so obvious that it muddles the originality of the film, nonetheless a great flick! I unexpectedly really liked it.
The film begins some 12,000 years ago as a caveman draws up some cave paintings in which to communicate the presence of an evil entity dwelling within the cave and surrounding area. The scene doesn’t end too well for the poor caveman, but it sets up the premise for a group of friends in the present day outback who travel to the ancient ruins in search of a good time and check out the old hieroglyphics (much like The Ruins). Present day: a girl gets herself possessed or infected by the local watering hole near their campsite after going for a late night skinny-dip. She ends up turning into this “primal” animalistic beast and within a matter of hours, grows these hideous razor-sharp teeth… Let the gore and blood bath begin! I mean, this girl truly transforms from a preppy, snooty, cheerleader type, into this blood-thirsty rabid, crazed she-devil! From here on out, it’s carnage city!
This is a first film by writer/director, Josh Reed and I think he does a wonderful job with the early pacing of the film and most of the tension in the scenes is very authentic. My heart was certainly pounding a time or two in the movie. I would expect only better films from him in the future. Aside from the fake looking CGI, the film doesn’t look bad. I couldn’t look away from watching the entire two hour film and ultimately genuinely enjoyed the ride.
After the film was over, I went about my day and didn’t give much thought about the movie until I’ve sat down to write about it now. Primal didn’t remain in my thoughts but still a solid B-movie. In the end, it’s a gory good time only lacking slightly in originality or real depth of a storyline. I’ll recommend it as a good horror fix if you’re in search of something that doesn’t require any real thought or emotion. I would however keep an eye out for more films directed by Josh Reed in the future.