It's rare that you go into a Sci-Fi Channel movie expecting anything decent. Expectations should be low and somewhere near the gutter. Keep moving lower to prepare for Maneater.
Based on the (far better) novel Shikar from 2003, Maneater is an appallingly bad creature feature that barely qualifies as such. Credit is due for avoiding going the route of CG on the tiger. Instead, it's a real tiger for 90% of its three total minutes of screen time.
Either attacks occur just out of view or we don't see anything until long after they've happened. Deaths are ridiculous, and how body parts end up in a tree after a ground attack is never exactly explained. Small town Sheriff Gary Busey is forced to figure out the murders on a painfully slow basis.
Of course, all of this has to happen in the idyllic small town that happens to be having a major event in midst of the attacks. Government officials don't heed the warnings and go ahead with their fun little apple festival. Then, everything goes wrong and the tiger kills everyone…err, wait, that doesn't happen here.
The long winded build up for this festival, sapping precious screen time, is baffling. Aside from useless footage of a parade, the subplot is dropped as quickly as its introduced. To fill in more time, there's the unexplained connection between a young boy and the tiger. This is likewise built for the entire movie and it's over before it's given an explanation.
A hilariously clichéd big game hunter, complete with a wardrobe that would look out of place in the '30s, takes over the hunt. This goes along with pathetically played National Guard troops who are called in to take care of the problem. No one introduced past the opening 10 minutes has any effect on the story.
Maneater gains only a few points for not heading into pathetic special effects territory. This is a rough 90 minutes to sit through. Gary Busey must need a checking account boost.Powered by Sidelines