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FrightFest 2018 Review: Boar

When fences are knocked down, people go missing and mutilated bodies are found, a small town in the Australian outback begins to believe the rumours are true: a huge boar is on a murderous killing spree.

Boar is a fun, but flawed, monster movie that works entirely as a re-telling of 1984’s Razorback. It’s without the latter film’s more bizarre characters – the Razorback tone feels very Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 – but the story is criminally similar. Both are set in Australia, both have characters searching for missing people and both focus on a giant killer pig.

The best thing about Boar is the cast. John Jarratt and Roger Ward are brilliantly funny as a couple of old drunks who try to be heroes. These golden oldies are hilarious and Boar‘s comedic edge is welcome. There are sure to be more than a few snappy one-liners that’ll give you a giggle, which is better than nothing, because Boar won’t be scaring you out of your skin. In fact, scrap the other characters, because I could have happily watched 90 minutes of just Jarratt and Ward vs. the Boar.

Strongman Nathan Jones returns to the horror scene after playing the antagonist in 2014’s Charlie’s Farm (there’s a neat reminder of that performance in Boar, for those who’ve seen it). He plays the role of Uncle Bernie (not Bern!), a monster of a man who, surely, must be the only match for the huge boar. Standing at a mighty 6 ft 11 himself, he’s brought in to show how huge the beast is, because even he struggles in hand-to-trotter combat. That is a great moment, though. Bill Moseley also shines as always, playing the only American in a town of Aussies.

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If you’ve criticised films in the past for not giving you a good look at the monster, then you’ll be impressed here, because director Chris Sun ensures we get to see plenty of the big pig. Rightly so, because he’s hugely impressive. The film can’t be faulted for it’s great effects – or its humour – but, there’s definitely a spark missing that prevents it from being something relentlessly entertaining.

Maybe it’s because a big pig isn’t particularly scary or the annoying, predictably shaky camera-work that accompanies the killing, but it’s definitely hard to feel any genuine fear or threat from this huge beast. The kills are expectedly messy and gore-hounds will enjoy the mutilated bodies and icky blood effects, but Boar hangs around for a very long time and after 96 minutes you’ll just want it all to end.

Boar is the perfect midnight movie experience; it’s an easy watch and you’ll not have to think too hard. The cast is spot-on and the moments of wit are the film’s strongest aspect. It’s a shame it couldn’t deliver the horror thrills and spills, but Boar is worth a watch for its concept alone. I mean, how many killer pig films do we get these days?

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