A group of tourists have their wildlife cruise diverted when the tour guide responds to a distress flare in another part of the river. But they soon find themselves far from safety, being stalked by a huge, rogue crocodile.
The early scenes reminded me of Hatchet. In both films a boat trip is grounded in the middle of nowhere, and the tourists start getting picked off by a killer with leathery skin and scary teeth. But actually, Rogue is a fairly straightforward nature-gone-wild movie. Anyone who's seen Lake Placid or Anaconda (or ever watched SyFy Channel movies) will know the basic set-up. At least four 'killer croc' movies were released in 2007 and this was just one of them (along with Black Water, Primeval and Croc).
Yes there are some cliches - a hint of attraction between the two leads, some seriously annoying secondary characters in times of crisis, and there's a cute dog that.. well, let's not go into spoiler territory. There's even a hottie who appears on screen in dripping wet, clinging clothing on three different occasions - though admittedly it's a man here, not a woman.
Despite the fairly unoriginal premise and storyline, the film does include some very tense set pieces. It has a strong female lead, who is both likeable and well played. The Australian scenery is amazing, and the music works well with the imagery and atmosphere. And for most of the movie the CGI effects are pretty decent. (It's only in the climactic scene when it suddenly looks like made-for-cable-TV movie.)
The surprising thing with Rogue is how many things are under-explored or just forgettable plot devices. For example, the mysterious boat that sent up the flare. The stretch of water being 'sacred' and forbidden, with its ancient paintings. The race against the rising tide and fading daylight. Or the friction of the relationship with the tour guide's ex-boyfriend (who joins the group of survivors and immediately becomes less interesting).
This isn't a terrible movie at all. It's well filmed and atmospheric, with some great scenes of tension. But apart from that it adds nothing new to the genre. It's a surprising follow up to Wolf Creek by the same director/writer - going from an infamously brutal horror movie to a by-the-numbers creature feature. Yes it's entertaining, but while it's not exactly 'forgettable', you'll soon be getting it confused with other big-killer-animal films you've seen. 3/5