Knocked down fences. Missing sheep. Have another beer and laugh it off. It’s just another day in Kandanga for the locals making the best of their situation, with drought setting in and work sparse, what else is there to do in a small Queensland town which swelters in the sunshine all year around?
The folks are plain speaking and blunt, no subject off limits, as Debbie and her family drive to Kandanga to visit her brother Bernie who still lives in the town, daughter Elle and her boyfriend Robert, son Bart and Debbie’s boyfriend Bruce, cabin fever setting in after the long ride from the city and tempers fraying between the youngsters and trying the patience of mom.
Bernie living out of town on a sheep farm, they head out into the hills and bathe by the creek, enjoying the freedom of nature, but the city dwellers are not prepared for what waits for them beyond the safety of the world they know, a colossal wild boar with a taste for blood which kills indiscriminately any who stray into its territory.
Written and directed by Chris Sun, Boar reunites him with several of the cast of his previous feature Charlie’s Farm including Mad Max: Fury Road‘s Nathan “Megaman” Jones as the formidable Bernie and The Devil’s Rejects‘ Bill Moseley as Bruce, but rather than concentrating on telling the story through characters he has established, the early victims are anonymous farmhands and campers unknown to audience.
Their deaths cheap where they should be shocking, they are an interruption to the story rather than an organic part of the narrative where more subtle foreshadowing would have built a stronger atmosphere; like The Meg, the boar of the title is too ubiquitous a presence where the less-is-more reserve of Jaws would be kinder to the shortcomings of the digital and practical versions of the long-toothed beast.
Despite the cast also including Red Hill‘s Steve Bisley and Wolf Creek 2‘s John Jarratt, reliable performers of Australian cinema, beyond the promising first act Boar never challenges the characters or the viewer after the carnage begins with anything more than the predictable default of the killer beast run amok genre, the titular animal crucially lacking sufficient personality to make it an interesting threat and more likely to bore than terrify.
Boar is available on DVD from Signature Entertainment as part of their “FrightFest presents” range from Monday 25th February