Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Breathing Down Your Neck As you may know if you followed along with Tim’s Australian Winter of Blood, horror from Down Under is something to be reckoned with. When you’re making a film with the intent to scare people who live every minute of their daily lives at risk of being horribly maimed or poisoned, […]

Categories: horror, oz/kiwi cinema

If (as I proposed at the end of my review) 2005’s Wolf Creek is the Texas Chainsaw Massacre of 21st Century Australian horror – aggressively nihilistic, full of pointless violence without catharsis – I guess it would have to be the case that Wolf Creek 2 would therefore be the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 of […]

We can learn a great deal about the 2013 remake of the 1978 horror film Patrick simply by looking at where it came from. Director Mark Hartley was, by training, a documentary filmmaker, and the ’13 Patrick was his first narrative feature. That doesn’t tell us much by itself – lots of documentarians make the […]

The late and quite unlamented (by me, anyway) horror subgenre of torture porn was, if it was anything, aggressively unpleasant. Watching extended scenes of human having miseries realistically inflicted upon them without the sweet release of death would sort of have to be; this is the difference between the torture films and other gore-driven subgenres, […]

I hope I will not devalue Lake Mungo if I describe it as a film that feels absolutely perfect for 2008. That suggests, I am afraid, that it has very little to offer for those of us living later than 2008, and this is not at all the case. But I think the film would […]

It’s enormously easy to imagine a version of the 2007 killer crocodile movie Black Water that’s considerably worse. That’s because it would basically be the 2003 killer shark movie Open Water, a much-hyped movie that wasn’t particularly good, but did create a model for ultra-low-budget thrillers set in one location with just a couple of […]

The torture porn fad of the mid-’00s was one of the dreariest developments in the history of horror cinema: take the imaginative gore effects of the early slasher films, strip away the merry exploitation hucksterism, and replace it with bitterness and a fascination with the human capacity for cruelty. I have seen at least a […]

Undead was the first feature film directed by TV commercial veterans and visual effects artists Michael & Peter Spierig, twins who go professionally by The Spierig Brothers. And when I say “the first feature”, I am not at all communicating how much of a first feature it is: the kind of first feature in which […]

I will begin by saying that I have seen the film we are about to dig into with three different arrangements of capital letters: Bedevil, BeDevil, and beDevil. I have decided to favor the third, partly because it’s how the title is rendered onscreen, partially because that’s how a couple of art museums refer to […]

The release date might say that we’re in the bright and shiny new decade of the 1990s, but everything about Bloodmoon feels hungover from the ’80s in the most mortifying way. Not least of these things – indeed, arguably foremost among these things – it is a slasher film, plain and simple, and it took […]

It’s almost certainly just random noise and not real evidence of a greater trend, but as I spend these weeks diving into the thrillers and horror films of the Australian film industry, I’m finding a lot more dead children than I’d expect to see in a similarly arbitrary sampling of Hollywood horror films. And with […]

Of all the deadly animals on the Australian continent, none of them is more impressively terrifying than the massive saltwater crocodile, 20 feet of territorial ambush predator honed by nature to have the primordial look of some ancient devouring evil. And here we have what is, to the best of my knowledge, the earliest Australian […]