PRIMAL (2010) has gained a following online in various countries and recently I was able to view the film for the first time (thank you David Sheldrick for being awesome for giving a copy to me). Personally I found PRIMAL an edgy and intense watch from the start.
PRIMAL begins as usual, by setting the mood. First we meet the characters. Anja is played by Zoe Tickwell- Smith (Ingrid in the film Gone). Tickwell-Smith bubbles through Anja’s insecurities and fears well and at times grates on her friends nerves. Mel is played by Krew Boylan, relatively unknown but sublime on screen. Whether she is a vixen or a mentally chaotic cavewoman, Boylan is fully immersed and convincing. Chad is played by Lindsay Farris (known from Gods Of Egypt, and can be seen in Director Josh Reed’s next film We’re Not Here To Fuck Spiders).Farris plays the usual doting boyfriend and probably the only character I genuinely wanted to survive. Kris is played by Rebekah Foord. Foord is known for roles on Australian television and her character was kind and somewhat pleasant to view. Warren is played by Damien Freekagus (again known on Australian TV and in short film roles). Freekagus is the laughable lovable character who is just there to have fun. Dace (our final pivotal character, other than the evil itself) is played by Wil Traval (notably currently seen on our TV screens as Will Simpson in Marvel’s Jessica Jones). Traval is the leader, and sadly the antagonistic one of the bunch. You ultimately loathe him one moment and then plead for his safety in others.
It begins simple enough, with the group arriving at bushlands with little navigation skills. Anja has claustrophobia and refuses to go through a tunnel, which will cut their travel time significantly (and is the only entry on foot to where they are setting up camp). Anja ultimately goes around in the car, while the others take the faster route ahead of her. They venture through the strange cave like tunnels and emerge on the other side unharmed.
As time drifts on we get to know each of their personalities, some we like more than others.
This film is an intense, on the edge of your seat rollercoaster, once the action starts. We bite our tongue waiting to see what antics their primitive friend will do. And as the afflicted grow (or a person is devoured), flittering in and out of each shot, the rhythmic drumming and thumping echoes through the scenes and we grow anxious.
Ultimately we are are met with the being that has created this occurrence, at the films climax, and personally I am still deciphering this one. It wasn’t that it is a bad ending or one I even can say I hated, merely it was a truly messed up and bemusing moment on screen in part, with a hugely peculiar notion attached. I will say it ended with me asking WTF?