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The Snowtown Murders

Dir Justin Kurzel (Macbeth, Assassins Creed)

Before I say anything, massive trigger warning on this one. There are some very graphic, violent and upsetting scenes and subject manners that run rampant throughout this film. Please be cautious before you consider giving this one a watch.

I have been sitting on this movie for about a week or so now and it’s really hard to write a proper review for it. Did I actually enjoy my time with this movie, or did it disturb me so much that I was paralysed in place, forced to finish the run time before being able to breathe again?

Based on true events, “The Snowtown Murders” follows the story of psychopath serial killer John Bunting (Daniel Henshall), as he manipulates his new girlfriend’s oldest son, Jamie Vlassakis (Lucas Pittaway) into doing some unspeakable, chilling things.

I’m going to get straight to the point here; this movie is twisted, disturbing and downright messed up, which appropriately reflects it’s truely sickening subject matter. I’m not an easy to scare but I can safely say this is the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen.
The atmosphere is bleak and bland from the get go, with grey colour grading washing over the opening shots as we are introduced to the Vlassakis family. Living in government funded housing in the Northern outskirts Adelaide, they are obviously an impoverished family with their house, as well as those surrounding, looking truely derelict.

I won’t go in depth with the plot but basically; Mum meets John, John manipulates Jamie, John and Jamie kill 8 people whose remains were found in barrels stored in an abandoned bank in Snowtown, SA. Creepy shit, right?

The thing that really got to me was how human the actors on screen were. I was sucked right in and there was barely a glimmer of fiction in the performances given. It was raw.
Kurzel does an admirable job of capturing some brilliant performances, as well as bringing this true story to the attention of an audience who may have never known about these gruesome killings.

This film definitely suffers from some pacing issues. It feels long and it is a mission to make through to the final credits. Whether it was intentional or not, some of the slower scenes do help the audience recover from the horrors put to screen. So to look at it from a glass half full perspective, it was a welcome shortcoming.


Now for the hard part, Would I actually recommend this movie to anyone? Yes and no. Yes because it is a gripping, intense film with some fantastic performances, award winning editing work and crisp cinematography. On the other hand, no just because of how down right disturbing and hard to digest it is.

TL;DR

Snowtown Is a thoroughly disturbing film. Kurzel through this film has achieved what he set out to do. I left this film feeling disgusted and appalled, not because I think this is a poorly executed film but because this was a true story. This happened.
Kurzel has done his job, and done it pretty damn well if you ask me. It’s a tough watch, and definitely not for the faint of heart (or stomach). However, if you so wish, go in blind and let Snowtown haunt your nightmares for days to come.

7.5/10

Featured

Baby Driver

Dir. Edgar Wright

*caution, possible mild spoilers ahead*

I should probably preface this review by noting that I am not a mega fan of Edgar Wrights’ previous works. They’re fine films, but there are no biased opinions coming from me at the time of writing this review.

Baby Driver. Wow, what an experience.
The film follows Baby (Ansel Elgort); a get away driver who is working for Doc (Kevin Spacey) in order to pay off a debt owed to him. The film traverses through many challenges both in and out of his line of work.
Opening the movie, was one of the most breath taking car chase scenes ever put to the screen, and really sets the tone and high paced energy that carries throughout the entire film.

The cast is packed full of household names, with stars such as Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Jon Bernthal, and even “The Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s” Flea making up the ensemble cast.

As well as incredible action sequences, and it’s fair share of laughs, what really shines through for Baby Driver is the way that the Choreography and soundtrack work hand in hand. From the many musical cues initiated by the actors movements and gestures, to a sequence at the beginning of the film, where Baby goes to grab coffee for the team whilst dancing through the streets of Atlanta (keep an eye on the poles and walls in the background) – it is a seamless flow of masterful direction.

The soundtrack also needs a shoutout here. Similar to that of “Guardians on the Galaxy”, the soundtrack truely enhanced this film, aiding with the expression of emotion by the cast, and on a few occasions playing a key role in some extremely clever foreshadowing by Wright.

There is no such thing as perfection, but Baby Driver did give me a hard time pinpointing it’s flaws. There really wasn’t much about this film that I disliked. There were a few corny lines of dialogue scattered throughout, but if I had to be extremely picky and have one negative thing to say, it would be that the relationship between Baby and Deborah (Lily James) did appear to be a little bit unbelievable. Baby Driver seemed to only take place over a few weeks, and for the two characters to have fallen in love over that time, realistically, seems completely ridiculous However, Wright handled the characters, both in his script and through Direction, with such charm and care, that there was never a moment in which I felt that anything happened on screen just for the sake of story filler or progression.

TL;DR:
Baby Driver is an action packed ride from the first to the last frame. Through masterful Direction from Edgar Wright, and amazing performances all round – I hope this film gets as many Oscar nods as it deserves.
If “The Fault in Our Stars” didn’t put Elgort on the map, “Baby Driver” surely will.

9.5/10