Dad Peter Weller has recently divorced from mom, and has taken his disagreeable kids (Carly Schroeder and Conner Dowds) to South Africa, along with his hot new girlfriend Bridget Moynahan, whom the kids are incredibly hostile towards. Whilst dad is away on business-related matters, Moynahan takes the kids on a safari. When Dowds’ ill-timed bathroom break sees their tour guide eaten by some nearby hungry lions, the not-so happy family find themselves in deep trouble.
It really surprises me that there aren’t more lion movies out there (the last one I remember was “The Ghost and the Darkness”), and this low-budget, Darrell James Roodt flick proves that you can make a pretty darn watchable (if not greater) B-horror/thriller with ravenous, man-eating lions.
Unfortunately, the film comes with some drawbacks. Weller, a terrific B-actor, is barely featured, and when he is, he’s mostly involved in superfluous scenes used to give us a breather from the main action.
Secondly, these are some truly stupid people, and it hurts the tension of the film a bit. I mean, turning the headlights on whilst stranded amongst a pack of ferocious predators? Driving like a complete maniac long past the point where it is necessary? (and thus causing an accident that puts them back to square one! They’re lions, not Raptors!). Moynahan fares well(despite her character’s stupidity), in fact, I’ve never seen her better (Or hotter, for that matter. Must be the light brown hair colour).
But look, this is what it is, and fans of this sort of thing will like it, and I appreciated it a lot more than I anticipated. And the film deserves credit for a genuinely good use of the shaky-cam technique that so often irritates. Here, it works, not only to help with the thrills and tension, but to hide the low-budget (like I said, real lions seemed to have been used most of the time, I doubt they were real all of the time, though).
A flawed, but tense, well-made lion horror/thriller with results exceeding expectations considering the low-budget and sometimes annoying characters.