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Safari (2013) – Movie Review

Safari (2013) - Movie Review

 

A little bit of a more positive watch for you again today, not great, but watchable and enjoyable overall (which makes a change).

Safari is a 2013 Found Footage ‘thriller’ from director Darrell Roodt and writer Tyler Hisel. It’s a unique take on the genre whereas it’s set in the South African wild and it relies on mother nature as the bad guy…as opposed to aliens, cryptozoology or paranormal entities.

It’s a pretty brave venture that just about works out from my point of view. At the end of the day, using lions and hyenas in this sort of filmmaking process is always going to be challenging on a relatively low budget…

The Plot

A found footage film set in the South African wild, where animals and poachers rule. A Young Zulu girl, Mbali, meets an American tourist group on safari. The group enter uncharted hunting grounds where they are forced to face the untamed wild.

He’ll Be Dead in a Minute…

Yeah that’s a pretty strange subheading, isn’t it?

Let me try and explain…

My main gripe with this film, and the thing that lets it down the most, is the fact that at least 50% of the characters make fuck-stupid decisions immediately before they die. Don’t get me wrong – it doesn’t necessarily ruin the film, but it does end up sticking in your mind.

Off the top of my head, I can remember three deaths within the plot/story line, where I thought to myself “Well he/she’s fucked then…” and I was right on each occasion.

I’ve got of feeling these character actions (or reactions) will make or break the film for you. I didn’t necessarily mind them that much…but others definitely will.

I did notice that a few South African watchers had left their opinions on the movie with IMDb, and they were less then impressed. The words ‘awful’, ‘xenophobic’ and ‘culturally stereotypical’ were thrown about a bit.

It’s important to point out that not many of us are going to believe that this is the way safety issues are handled with modern safari routes – this is a MOVIE after all and it’s FICTION. It would be a pretty shit watch if they all went out on safari for the day then returned back to the lodge safely for a gin and tonic!

Simply put – it’s Found Footage.

Conclusion

Okay, this is FAR from perfect, but I got a degree of enjoyment out of it, and it’s better than a lot of shit I’ve sat through so far this year.

Is it far fetched?

Yeah, of course – who would carry a fucking camera around with them when they are being chased by lions?

Is it xenophobic or culturally stereotypical?

Got no idea really – I’ve never been to South Africa!

The key thing to take away from this is the entertainment factor – a safari gone wrong is a great setting for a Found Footage movie, and it’s original (for once!).

Acting was fine, not great, but the main characters managed to support the rest of them. Cinematography was good, they obviously had slim pickings when it came to the animal footage – but they made it work.

The plot?

Well, that was fine, but how much can you do with a broken down safari truck at the end of the day?

It is what it is – a fast, simple plot (like most Found Footage projects).

I think about 50% of you will quite enjoy it, like me, and the remaining 50% will be left thinking “WTF!!!”

P.S. It’s worth noting that this is only about 95% pure Found Footage. There are ‘regular’ scenes at the start and the end of the film.

Chris

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