"Rogue" has a problem and that is expectations as here we have a movie about a group of people stranded and dealing with a killer crocodile which to me screams out cheesy creature feature. Yet "Rogue" isn't cheesy despite sticking to the formula of having comedy and quirky characters because it also has style, suspense and a killer creature that is kept hidden from us for most of the movie. It means that if you watch "Rogue" in the hope of it being entertainingly bad you end up disappointed for what it isn't but impressed by director Greg Mclean turning a bad movie formula into something more.
American travel writer Pete McKell (Michael Vartan - Monster-in-Law) joins a group of tourists on a nature cruise down an Australian national park river. With the heat, flies and just about anything getting to him Pete clashes with tour guide Kate (Radha Mitchell - Finding Neverland). But after turning around to head back they spot a flare in the distance and so Kate takes the boat and passengers of course to investigate. In doing so they head into untested territory and end up attacked by a killer crocodile which sinks their boat and leaves them stranded on a small mud island.
So as I said "Rogue" is basically your standard creature feature movie where we have a group stranded and in danger of a killer creature. It has everything you expect from this type of movie including quirky and annoying characters as well as moments of humour such as an early scene where an Ozzie barman sticks a fly in Pete's coffee.
But whilst director Greg Mclean doesn't alter the formula he approaches it in a different way and sets about building atmosphere and suspense. Now on one hand what Mclean does is nothing new, it is the classic less is more but it is refreshing as it turns the bad movie formula into something much more. And the best thing is that he keeps the killer crocodile hidden from us, just teasing us with a glimpse of tail or a scene which shows its power. And when he combines that with the atmosphere of being stuck on a mud island with the water rising around them as it gets dark it gets entertaining.
What this all boils down to is that "Rogue" is a good horror movie which takes a familiar bad horror movie idea and turns it into a good horror movie. But that does mean that if you watch "Rogue" wanting some bad movie entertainment you could end up disappointed, well at least to start with.