This movie surprised me by being fairly satisfyingly suspenseful. It’s essentially Cujo set in the African desert: a new stepmother (Bridget Moynahan) and her husband’s two kids find themselves stranded in a Jeep after their tour guide takes them off-road and promptly gets eaten by a lion. The lions, having tasted the deliciousness of human blood, decide to hang out for a while and see if the Jeep’s other tasty snacks are dumb enough to venture out (spoiler: they are!). Meanwhile, the husband/father teams up with a local hunter (not unlike the Quint character from Jaws) to try to track them down.
It’s not terribly original, of course, but it had many of the same elements that made Cujo fun for me: a fear I could relate to (not so much with lions where I live, but certainly with other big cats, as well as, of course, the most terrifying beasts of all: raccoons), authentic suspense, and fairly well-crafted/well-acted characters who create their own intriguing interpersonal drama when the lions are off napping or plotting. Plus: gorgeous scenery! And real lions! Eep!
It’s not a brilliant film, but I definitely enjoyed watching it and would say it’s well worth the rental fee if you like this sort of thing. Bridget Moynahan, by the way, will be starring in a new TV show this fall called Blue Bloods (co-starring Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg — veritable ex-Boyfriendapalooza). Having seen her in this flick, I’m looking forward to seeing what more she can do.