Wednesday 28 June 2017

The Current Cinema - John Snadden is impressed by the new Oz movie HOUNDS OF LOVE (Ben Young, 2016)

HOUNDS OF LOVE is still showing in Melbourne and it's well worth a look...although definitely not for the faint hearted.

I spent a grueling afternoon at the cinema last Sunday watching the new Aussie horror flick HOUNDS OF LOVE - but what a film! Forget SNOWTOWN and WOLF CREEK, this is the film which is set to give nightmares to middle Australia. The opening 20 minutes show just how easy it is to be "taken" from a suburban street.

The film begins in the late 1980s in Perth, and is based on a series of crimes committed during this period. For John and Evelyn life is simple: they stalk, kidnap, torture and murder teenage girls. Much of this happening in a nondescript house in a nondescript residential street. The pair keep to themselves and neighbours rarely bother them - sometimes it seems like they're invisible to the world.

These human wraiths are played by Stephen Curry and Emma Booth. Not since HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER (John McNaughton, USA, 1986) have I seen such a convincing and terrifying screen presentation of total amorality and unbridled sadism. A sequence early in the movie where they first attack their latest victim, I found to be nearly unwatchable.

Stephen Curry, Emma Booth, Hounds of Love
Director Ben Young (in his feature film debut) shows us the toxic and unstable nature of this twisted partnership: the dominant male and the needy acolyte. And it's these bonds which are tested when the pair abduct a private school student, Vicki (Ashleigh Cummings), who is chained to a bed and conditioned to dread the dawn of each day.

In a particularly shocking turn of events, it's the killing of an animal - not a human - which is the catalyst for an unthinkable act of violence.

Not surprisingly, this movie isn't for every-one and some people will absolutely hate it. But if you've a yen for an intelligent and graphic serial killer pic - HOUNDS OF LOVE shouldn't be missed.

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