- Director: Justin Kurzel
- Genre: Crime
- Cert: 18
- Details: Australia / 119mins .
- Release Date: 18/11/2011
Based on a true story, Snowtown is set in the titular area of Adelaide in the 90s, a suburb of half-finished kitchens, of stolen shopping trolleys used as toys, of limping dogs and where paedophiles seem to roam unchecked. One such child abuser is the father of 16-year-old Jamie Vlassakis (Pittaway) and when mum Elizabeth (Harris) finds out her husband has been selling pornographic pictures of Jamie and her other sons, she has him arrested… only to learn that hubby is released the next day to take up residence across the road.
Moving in to take hubby's place is the charismatic John Bunting Henshall), a kind father figure who takes Jamie under his wing to protect him from society's scum. Protect him how? By luring paedophiles, junkies and such to his home and brutally torturing them over an extended period of time before finally dumping the bodies in barrels.
Grim and gruesome Snowtown can be but the majority of the killings, which were far more terrible in reality than we see here, happen off screen, which may have disappointed the Horrorthon crowd so much; although one particular murder is dragged out so long one would hope director Justin Kurzel would just cut away.
As Bunting, Daniel Henshall turns in one of the best performances of the year. Playing a short, slightly overweight man with kind eyes, it takes some skill in turning that into an imposing, scary figure and Henshall delivers. Every time he walks into a room, there's a shudder – what is he going to do next? One scene sees him place a gun on the table in front of Jamie and quietly demands he shoot his dog – dragged out for an eternity, the scene is up there with Joe Pesci's 'What's so funny about me?' for rising dread.
The pace is a little slow and can lag at times, but for the most part there is an increasing unease to the proceedings as Kurzel squeezes every bit of tension from every scene. Different, difficult and disturbing, this is one of the most memorable movies of the year.
Review by Gavin Burke | 09:00 | Friday 18th November 2011 | Movie Review
When a new Australian film lands on these shores, I always take note. I've rarely seen a bad Australian film and Snowtown keeps the standard up. It's a hard-hitting story about Australia's most notorious serial killer and the teenage boy caught up in his dangerous games. Recalling the family atmosphere evoked by this year's earlier Animal Kingdom, it's not an easy watch and is certainly not a popcorn film. However, it's a very well-acted and thoughtfully directed film that packs a punch. It will stay with you long after the credits roll. Catch it while you can before it disappears from our cinema screens.Posted 20:36 | Thu 24th Nov 2011
I couldn't sit through the whole of this film. I've never walked out in a film but just over an hour into this I couldn't take any more. Maybe it was the fact it was based on a true story. For me it was just too much to take. At times it felt I was watching a documentary, the acting is superb! The film is shot so well and I was hooked from the start and with each scene the knot in my stomach got tighter and tighter until the tension, the horror, the callousness . . it all just got too much. It's a film that will remain with me for some time to come. An outstanding film if you can stomach the subject matter.Posted 01:38 | Tue 29th Nov 2011
Log in to leave a comment
The opinions expressed here are those of the viewer and do not reflect those of Entertainment.ie. Entertainment.ie accepts no responsibility, legal or otherwise, for their accuracy of content. Please contact us to report abusive content