John Reviews Primeval

PrimevalI’m one of those sad monster movie suckers. I just can’t get enough of them. I also have a soft spot for giant croc/alegator movies (if you haven’t seen it yet… you absolutely MUST run out and rent Lake Placid sometime. Damn movie is freaking hilarious). So when I first heard about Primeval, a movie about a giant killer Croc that’s based on a true story… well… I was hooked already.

The synopsis for Primeval looks something like this:

In one of the most remote places on earth, a bloodthirsty serial killer has claimed over 300 victims, and is still at large to this day. Now, inspired by the true story of the world’s most prolific killer, comes PRIMEVAL, a nail-biting horror-thriller that follows an American news crew determined to capture this terrifying murderer alive. The danger begins as producer Tim Freeman (DOMINIC PURCELL, “Prison Break”), cameraman Steven Johnson (ORLANDO JONES) and their rag-tag team set out on a journey up-river in search of their subject. But the deeper they probe into the mystery of this elusive assassin, the deadlier their trip becomes.


Let me say this right up front. This is one of the only truly scary films I’ve seen this year. The filmmakers do a wonderful job of setting up scenes of tension and constructing an atmosphere conducive to fear. I hesitate to call this film a “Horror movie” per se… but the scares are some of the best I’ve seen in a long time.

I also quite like the fact that they make Primeval about more than a giant killer croc. The film is also a look at some of the political realities going on in some of the poorest nations in Africa. Some how, and some way, Primeval makes itself something of a message movie while also being a horror of sorts. I can’t recall ever seeing a film that tried to do both on a serious level before.

From a purely cinematic perspective, some of the nature and landscape shots are just breathtaking. There were times in the film when I just zoned out of the dialog and focused all my attention on the beautiful scenery they shot. A very good looking film


The film feels very small. Small cast, small scope of influence, small budget… just small. I imagine half of the films budget was eaten up (no pun intended) by Gustave (the name of the giant Croc).

The script and dialog are kinda painful in parts, and it didn’t help that the lines were being delivered by 2nd tier actors. Orlando Jones just did NOT fit in this movie. Brooke Langton (who i normally like) was awful and totally unbelievable. Dominic Purcell was surprisingly pretty good. I’ve never been impressed with him before (Blade 3 anyone?) but I’ll give credit where it’s due. He was the one non-bad spot as far as the acting went.

The invisible villain in the film is a ruthless warlord named “Little Gustave”. How they resolved this character was just terrible. I don’t know if how they worked out Little Gustave was part of the true story or not… but even if it was, the way it was translated to the screen was awful.


Primeval ends up being somewhat predictable poor in the sense of script, story and acting… however, it makes up for that with some legitimate great scares, some beautiful scenery and a nice combination for jumping back and forth between being a political statement movie of sorts… and a giant croc horror movie. Overall I give Primeval a 6 out of 10

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