It would have been very easy to say that Chris Sun’s Aussie horror film Boar was…something of a bore. I won’t go for such a simple pun-fuelled insult, but I will say that Sun has made a right pig’s ear out of this outback creature feature.
A large wild bore is terrorising the Australian wilderness, picking off people here and there, but the killings are so sporadic nobody believes that a killer swine is on the loose. However, the hungry pig gets more brazen (not braised) and soon the cast featuring Bill Moseley, Nathan Jones, John Jarratt and Melissa Tkautz are in the trough as potential pig feed. Who needs swine flu, eh?
All Chris Sun and co-writer Christine Hulsby had to do was follow the tried and tested Jaws plotting to create a fun Australian horror, but they don’t have a clue about plot construction or characterisation. They don’t know who they want their main characters to be, flitting between various plot threads as if they were taking part in some strange edit room lottery. Maybe they thought there were delivering a multi-layared ensemble horror piece, but it’s confused and distracting. What makes me really angry, is that Sun delivered the excellent slasher Charlie’s Farm (which co-starred Bill Moseley and is name-checked here) a few years ago. He’s got the skills, he’s just not using them. It’s a killer pig movie, mate. How can you go so wrong?
The film’s humour falls flat and none of the performances work. Bill Moseley and John Jarratt aside, everyone feels like they were pulled off the street, told what to say, pushed in front of a camera and then had some yell ‘Action!’. That might be harsh – but it’s true. I’ve seen more nuanced performances in Neighbours. It might sound harsh, but it’s very true.
Boar features some solid practical effects, but for the finale Sun and company strangely decided to switch to subpar CGI which wouldn’t pass-muster on a ‘90s kids television show. You should never go down the digital path in low budget horror – that’s a rule. The majority of the time you just don’t have the cash to make it look good.
I’ve been slamming Boar pretty hard, but I’m struggling to find something positive about it. Ultimately I can’t, so I’m going to draw things to a close. After all you can’t you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.