While we’re still on the topic of the Australian Museum, I caught up on some anatomical drawing in the skeleton room there last week. It’s a fabulous place, even without any creepy dummies – where else would you find a real skeleton astride a rearing horse?
There were also some strange little reminders of the article I’m currently working on: an overview of Australian horror for RealTime Arts.
You can’t talk about Australian horror without mentioning Greg McLean. While his most notable work is the disturbing Wolf Creek (2005), I want to draw attention here to the film he followed it with: Rogue, a comparatively light-hearted affair about an enormous killer saltwater crocodile.
Rogue (2007) is an enjoyable piece of Australiana obviously made with an American audience in mind. The film is full of soaring aerial views which showcase the beauty of Kakadu National Park, as well as references to Aboriginal spirituality, Aussie yobbos (if you want to see Sam Worthington mooning before he was a star…) and a cluster of ‘colourful’ tourist characters headed up by the hero, Pete (Michael Vartan), an American travel writer. The versatile and engaging Radha Mitchell stars as boat tour guide Kate, a refreshingly self-sufficient female character right up until she has to be rescued at the film’s end. Until the final quarter or so, when things get a bit Indiana Jones, Rogue is a beautifully paced and scenic piece of popcorn horror.
For a contrasting take on the killer crocodile scenario, check out Black Water (David Nerlich/Andrew Traucki, 2007), a more naturalistic film that I’ll be focusing on in the RealTime article.