Ogre (2008)

Hey, anyone interested in an okayish mild-horror time filler designed to get everyone involved paid and some time on the SyFy Channel filled? Well, do I have a very middle-of-the-road bit of inoffensive tepid entertainment for you! Because much like the real world of bulk movie production, not everything you haven’t heard of can be joyfully bad or outrageously crazy. A lot of it just does the job it’s supposed to.

“I just want to say, I have a very nice hat.”

The plot hits all the markers it has to, using the standard 7-step structure and a stopwatch to make sure its beats land in an ad-break-favoring manner. It doesn’t get confusing, it uses three main locations and just enough characters to make you care about who’s going to get eaten, and it has some vague sense of flair. The setup is that an 1860s Canadian town turns to dark magic to avert everyone dying from the plague, which accidently releases a sodding big CGI monster that, wouldn’t you know it, only the dark magic-wielding Mage can protect everyone from. Skip forward to “Present Day” and The Catalyst is a bunch of students finds the town in all its re-enactment glory the night that year’s sacrifice is to be picked.

“I’m going to kill my agent”

So far, so very much something that is an interesting and workable idea enough that you could turn it into a Doctor Who episode if you threw in a couple of knob-gags and stated the blinding obvious enough times. Whilst the dialogue is apparently written by someone who only knows how to speak tourist guide, there are some really nice ideas running through it that add decent subplots and subtext to it all. Nothing too fancy, but enough meat to keep you relatively interested.

“You spent how much on this film??”

Thankfully, there is an incredible cast of B-Movie (and occasionally A-Movie) pros that show why they keep on getting hired. John Schneider, the amazing Katharine Isabelle, Brendan Fletcher, Andrew Sheeler, Chelan Simmons, and Kyle Labine have all been in movies you’ve probably heard of and might even have seen. And in this film, they bring a level of conviction to the script and emotion to the characters that they undoubtedly did all themselves as the director was more worried about hiding how low the budget was.

I have honestly seen worse. You may not, but I certainly have.

And then there is The Ogre, which looks like something copied out of a Play Station 1 game. But props must be given for the bold decision to put it front and center of the action from the start, rather than hide its shortcomings. Or it was cheaper to do it that way; one of the two. Anyway, it’s big and it’s ugly and it’s low-poly and it’s badly color-matched. Other than that… it’s also got a loin cloth which makes it look like it has a dick like a fence post that’s been blown over in the wind. So, that’s two very bold decisions there, before you get to it eating people with mild levels of violence.

Characters die, plot lines develop, mysteries unfurl, and it’s not that terrible because the cast keeps it all together. They don’t work a miracle and make the film great, but it’s good enough to keep you interested if you want something low-effort to watch for a while and not get overwhelmed by. Somehow, purely by the work ethic of the cast, it skates itself just inside the Treasure line. You won’t rusk to watch it, but if you do you’ll find it sufficiently satisfying despite its many shortcomings.

The Raggedyman

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