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As seen on the Sci-Fi channel, Ogre follows a group of traveling teenagers who stumble upon a small, ageless village. Here they find a paradise of immortality - the residents are free from disease and have an abundance of harvest. However, they soon discover that everlasting life had its price. The town made an ancient pact with the Ogre on the mountain: an annual human offering in exchange for status quo. The teenagers find themselves trapped as the villagers desperately seek their next sacrifice.
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Directed by Steven Monroe and written by Chuck Reeves, 2008's "Ogre" is a low-budget tv monster flick in the manner of "It Waits," "Sasquatch Hunters" and countless other Syfy movies. These films are the modern counterpart to the low-budget creature features of decades ago like "Gargoyles" (1972), "Prophecy" (1979) and the Kolchak: The Night Stalker films/tv series. You either enjoy these types of pictures or you don't. I do. As reviewer John Patrick Fischner so perfectly puts it: "Imagination and legend is... about good and evil and the power of selfless courage against impossible odds. There is nothing more heroic than man against monster."
THE PLOT: Four youths hike into rural Pennsylvania looking for a legendary lost town and are amazed when they actually find it. The town's inhabitants are still stuck in the 19th century and living in dread of a hideous creature to whom they must sacrifice one of their own once a year. Adventure and horror ensue.
Most viewers will note that the story is a mishmash of numerous other films like "The Village (Widescreen Vista Series)," "Bay Cove" (i.e. "Bay Coven"), "The Blair Witch Project" and various other monster-in-the-woods flicks.
Although this is essentially a serious story the film naturally pokes fun at the whole notion of an ogre. The youths take it as a joke and so do the cops; my wife and I cracked up numerous times and so will you. It's just really hard to hear or say the word 'ogre' without giggling. Be that as it may, the joke stops when the creature literally starts ripping people's heads, legs, and arms off. Of course, some people may continue laughing, but that's all part of the enjoyment.
"Ogre" no doubt tried to capitalize on the surge in popularity of ogres with the success of the Shrek: The Whole Story Boxed Set (Shrek / Shrek 2 / Shrek the Third / Shrek Forever After) franchise. In fact, the beast in the film even resembles Shrek, albeit less cartooney and more malevolent-looking. Another comparison would be the cgi Hulk in Ang Lee's notorious 2003 Hulk (Widescreen 2-Disc Special Edition); the ogre here sorta looks like that Hulk's homely brother, if you can imagine that. Interestingly, unlike other monster flicks you'll fully see the creature right from the get-go. Although this destroys suspense it didn't personally bother me (as I don't like it when films play out the same way all the time).
Believe it or not, John Schneider of Dukes of Hazzard fame is on hand as one of the main characters and he does a fine job. He also looks great for being nigh 50 years-old. I don't get why people poke fun at him being in the film. So he played Bo Duke, so what?
Other cast highlights include Chelan Simmons who plays one of the two female protagonists. Chelan is one of the cutest freckled blonds you'll ever gaze your eyes upon next to Juliana Dever of "Sasquatch Hunters." Chelan also starred in "Chupacabra Terror." She has a very winsome disposition. Also on hand is Katharine Isabelle of "Ginger Snaps" fame. Both of these cuties have significant roles here.
Although the story takes place in Pennsylvania the film was shot in the sticks outside of Vancouver, BC. It's a good stand-in for PA except for one shot with a mountain in the background (the mountains of Pennsylvania are roundish ridges and look nothing like the mountains of the Great Northwest). Anyway, it's obvious the film was shot in the late Autumn; it has the cold/dreary Fall vibe throughout.
FINAL WORD: My wife and I had a fun time with this monster flick and so will you if it sounds like it'll trip your trigger.
GRADE: Borderline B- or C+
The film runs 90 minutes.
A group of twenty-somethings go out in search of a mythical village which is supposedly located in the middle of nowhere. Of course, they manage to find it and stumble into a place held in time where the Ogre demands an annual sacrifice.
While done fairly well for a TV movie, unfortunately the story just isn't as interesting as it might have been. It is actually structured reasonable well (with shades of 'The Village' being seen in the idea of the lost town and the brave heroine trying to set right the years of wrong), but it's all completely predictable and most of the characters just aren't that interesting. It's also a bit long at 97 minutes and would have benefited by an increase in the pace if 10 minutes had been cut out of the middle section which did tend to drag a bit.
For a 2007 production, the digital effects are passable with the Ogre being a big cartoon but better than you might expect.
At the end of the day, it's a bit much to be too hard on the production - this is a small budget film which does what it does competently. Just switch it on with your expectations suitably set.
I would suggest this flick to anyone that is a visual effects fan, since these effects are an EPIC FAIL. A few good laughs in between the decent movie plot points.
its set in an area of the forest in which time is still in the 1800's
because of a curse on them and they must keep feeding the ogre every season for their lives to be spared another while, until some kids on a hike from the present year stumbles onto thier secret and helps them break the curse. "its a great movie"