Primal Review – FrightFest Film Festival Day 1

Primal Review – FrightFest Film Festival Day 1

Rewriting an opinion of a film halfway through is a rarity for me, but a happy exception was made here on Day 1 of the FrightFest Film Festival in the form of Primal – the highlight of the day.

Primal appears to begin as your standard “group of twenty somethings taking a wrong turn in the backwoods and end up fighting mutant cannibals” type of film.

Given this is a well-worn track with films such as Wrong Turn, my patience for Primal quickly began to wane as the group of trekkers chatted inanely to one another in the vain hope of establishing empathy with their characters.

The dialogue doesn’t help either. Lines such as:

“Anyone who gets locked in a cupboard is bound to have some claustrophobia.”


Person A to Person B: “Should we get her to a hospital?”
Person B: “No.”
Person A:  “You’re not a doctor!”

But when disaster truly strikes mid way through the film, you, the viewer discover you have become the victim of a very wry Australian comedy; one with genuine scares that make you jump and giggle in equal measure.

At its heart, Primal takes you through the foibles of battling a prehistoric entity which takes over its host on a camping expo.

Lines such as:

Person A: “We have to kill her.”
Person B: “We can’t. She’s sick.”
Person A: “She’s EATING PERSON C.”
Person B: “She needs help.”

telegraph the fact that you have been wound up since the beginning.

Athletic and comedic performances from the ensemble cast mean that you never feel the film lag after the first 20 minutes are out of the way.

The only criticism is that the film constantly shifts in tone, so you’re never totally scared if you feel free to laugh.

But it’s a slight aside.

Primal energised the crowd and got them whooping, setting the bar for the rest of the week’s films to follow.

Into the second break and the crowds are buzzing off the screening of Primal.

I overhear several people who say they were due to leave before the next film, Dead Cert, have been given a charge and are now sticking around for the finale of Day 1 of the FrighFest Film Festival.

posted by admin at 3:20 am  

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