Saturday, July 28, 2012

Rogue River Only Goes Half the Distance: A Movie Review

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*here be major spoilers.

Director: Jourdan McClure.

Writers: Ryan Finnerty and Kevin Haskin.

Cast: Michelle Page, Art Alexakis, Chris Coy, Michael Cudlitz, Lucinda Jenney, and Bill Moseley.

Tagline: "Still waters run deep."

Rogue River is the second project that this reviewer has seen from Kejo Productions. The other was a thriller titled Sensored starring Robert Picardo. Sensored was a entertaining outing. Rogue River is less thrilling and more predictable. Even a theme of incest only creates a few unsettling moments. This film, which clocks in at a mere eighty-one minutes, is not really recommended for horrors fans seeking something really frightening.

The film follows Mara (Michelle Page) on her journey to bury her father's ashes. She is interrupted by a friendly man, Jon (Bill Moseley). He wants to help her after her car has been stolen. Or, does he want to help himself to Mara when he has her back at an isolated cabin? Once Mara accepts Jon's invitation for dinner with his wife, strange things begin to happen. The strangest situation involves Jon scampering around in a pair of tighty whities telling Mara how much her dad loves her. Awkward! The next thirty plus minutes involve many cat and mouse situations. As well, there are scenes of physical and psychological torture, which lead to some surreal sexual situations.

This film incorporates a theme of incest. So, expect to feel uncomfortable as Jon plays doctor with his sister, Lea (Lucinda Jenney). Mara is also forced to mount her brother, in later scenes. And, at this point, your eyes might be popping out of your head. These scenes are truly unsettling and the final shot in the picture will surely push viewers out of their comfort zone.

Rogue River does little more than cover a social taboo. The script here develops in a fairly standard way. The villains collide with the protagonist until a final confrontation. Other film elements like music are well done and the performances are mostly on their mark. The major shocks have been mentioned with one character adding a little too much sniveling in some final scenes. This film ends predictably with tragedy and Rogue River fails to really shine in the horror genre overall.

Rogue River is an indie production that offers few thrills. There are some strange themes here involving incest, but is that enough to draw viewers in? Most will say no and Rogue River needed to go a little farther to offer something truly terrifying. Although, there really is nothing more frightening than seeing actor Bill Moseley parade through half of the film in some very unflattering jockey shorts!

Overall: 6 out of 10 (this film will push some buttons, strange themes, slightly shocking ending, predictable through the 2nd and 3rd acts).

*this title was released June 5th on DVD through Lionsgate.

The film's fan page is here:

Rogue River on Facebook

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