🐷🐷.5 out of 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷
Directed by Chris Sun
The planet is running out of animals. Literally and figuratively. Hollyweird has given us sharks (Jaws 1-4), rabbits (Night of the Lepus), bears (Grizzy), fish (Piranha), and man’s best friend (Cujo). There’s even been birds, wolves, snakes, rats, and gators, and whatever the hell a sharktopus is supposed to be. One of the things that Hollyweird hasn’t gotten its money-grubbing paws on is the pig, javelina, or boar – until now.
Released in 2017, Boar is an Aussie horror joint written and directed by Chris Sun. From the opening scene, Sun creates a fun and enthralling atmosphere of tension, gore, and the biggest boar you’ve ever seen. Not just twice the size of an average boar, but a single boar with the stupendous size of 20+ boars. Early on Boar introduces a number of fun archetypal Aussie characters and heightened personalities. Among them are the sole American, Bruce (Bill Moseley: House of 1,000 Corpses, Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, and Silent Night-Deadly Night III), and his behemoth brother-in-law Bernie (ginormous (6’11”) former wrestler Nathan Jones).
The story lightly (read: very lightly) focuses on Bruce’s family and a trek out to their family farm and a subsequent outing in to the very lush, green, and foggy Australian outback. All the while, banging its gargantuan body through the woods, is the boar. Four foot tusks, persistently bloody mouth and beard, and an insatiable appetite for delicious honey-glazed humans. The film isn’t particularly complicated. In fact, it isn’t complicated at all. Director Sun splashes a couple very light plot points regarding the family dynamic, but never really bothers to delve too deeply in to any real family dynamism or tensions. While the characters have a fun hyper-realized Crocodile Dundee quality, Boar largely takes us on a killing by numbers outback steakhouse adventure.
Eventually, the family is forced to deal with the threat of the gargantuan boar, but not before said boar rumbles, stumbles, stomps, bites and chomps through a solid quarter of the family. Sadly, because of the lack of character development and any unifying subplot, audiences are left with a gargantuan boar doing gargantuan boar-things. Director Sun does not bother with any nuance like the evil mayor trying to keep the resort community open for the summer in the face of sharks, or the river fun-park’s opening day in the face or piranhas, or even the National Park contending with a giant grizzly run amok. Nope, we get none of these plot points.
However, what Boar lacks in plot device(s) is made up for with incredible computer and practical effects. Grunting, groaning, and stampeding are what gargantuan boars do, and this boar does it well. Weirdly, the boar CGI and practical effects look far worse in the night scenes and far better in the days, but neither are the problem with the boar. The Boar, filled with a wonderful cast, beautiful scenery, and an awesomely gargantuan boar, is just absent a compelling dramatic tension. The Boar was never boring, but it certainly was void of a little exposition and creative touch. That lack of care makes for a boorish little jaunt in to the outback.
The Boar is unrated, but likely an R for gore and saucy Aussie dialogue.
The Boar is currently streaming on Shudder.