Horror Down Under: LAKE MUNGO (2008)

Welcome to the 5th edition of Horror Down Under, a column series in which I review horror films from my home country of Australia. The purpose of this column will be that it will act as a showcase for various horror related film projects that have been made Australia in hopes that it will get you interested in checking them out for yourself. I’ll be reviewing a wide range of Aussie horror films of various quality from the excellent to the terrible, the all time classics to the latest releases to the completely forgotten, etc. For this 5th edition I delve into the independently made 2008 supernatural mockumentary LAKE MUNGO…

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2017 Melbourne International Film Festival Recap: Week 2

Welcome back to the 2nd and final edition of a two part article series in which I’ll be doing mini-reviews for some of the films that I saw recently at the 2017 Melbourne International Film Festival (or MIFF for short as it is also goes by). After a massive first week of MIFF where I watched a total of 29 films (you can check my mini-reviews of 7 of those films in part 1 of my coverage right here), the second and final week of the festival was definitely at least a little bit more easy-going by comparison since I was only saw about 17 films that week. As great of a week as the first one was, it was actually week 2 of MIFF that I was really the most excited for since nearly all of my most anticipated titles of the festival were scheduled to be screened during that time. Some of which just happened to be genre-related films. Just like I did in part one of my MIFF coverage, I thought I’d share with you my brief thoughts on all of those titles. So without further ado, here’s my complete recap of the second batch of genre films that I watched in the second week of MIFF 2017…

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2017 Melbourne International Film Festival Recap: Week 1

Welcome to the 1st edition of a two part article series in which I’ll be doing mini-reviews for some of the films that I saw recently at the 2017 Melbourne International Film Festival (or MIFF for short as it is also goes by). For those out there who don’t know what it is, MIFF is one of Australia’s biggest and most prestigious film festivals that my adoptive home town of Melbourne celebrates every year. Over the course of 18 days (the festival was held between from August 3rd to the 20th this year) MIFF showcased over 358 films of all different types ranging from many countries from around the world. This year was my 6th time attending the festival and it was without a doubt my biggest one so far.

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Horror Down Under: THIRST (1979)

When I think of the most common sub-genres that most Australian filmmakers seem to tackle when they make a horror film, the main ones that I’ve noticed always seems to be either of the following: serial killers, supernatural, slashers, zombies, psychological and monsters. However did you notice which one was missing from that list? Vampires.

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Horror Down Under: CUT (2000)

I think that it’s pretty safe to say that if you asked any horror fan to write down a list of horror films that they believed had the biggest impact on the genre over the pass 25 years, one of that would definitely be on there would be Wes Craven’s classic 1996 slasher film SCREAM. When you think about it, it’s not hard to understand why.

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Horror Down Under: WOLF CREEK (2005)

If you asked any Australian what their favourite Aussie horror film would be, I guarantee you that the first answer would be WOLF CREEK. If you have seen the film, it’s not hard to understand why that is. Before the film was released in 2015, Australian horror films were basically dead at the cinema. Sure there were some still being made but they were few and far between and they sadly a lot of them didn’t do well either critically or commercially. When WOLF CREEK was finally released in Australia after being played at both the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals, it became an instant box office hit that was praised from both Aussie critics and audiences. Although when he film was released in the rest of the world, the reaction was definitely mixed to negative (legendary critic Roger Ebert gave the film a ZERO star rating in his review and it’s one of the only few films to receive a F rating from Cinema Score). While I definitely understood the negative reaction that he film has received but for me personally, I think it’s one of the best horror films made in this century so far. When I first saw the film back in 2005, it absolutely floored me. Seriously while I was watching it, my heart was pounding in my chest the entire time over how terrifying it was. I’ve seen the film many times over the years and it’s still just as intense today as it was when it came out 12 years ago. There’s a lot of reasons why I think the film works as well as it does overall and I believe it’s all due to one man: writer/director Greg McLean, who made his directional debut with this film.

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