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What’s The Fuck Is Going On In Australian Cinema?


As a diehard horror film fan, I must be getting soft in my old age ‘cuz I just watched two very good Australian horror films on consecutive nights: Jennifer Kent’s “The Nightingale” (2018), and Damien Power’s “Killing Ground” (2016). I was caught off guard by these films very realistic brutality.

First, let me say that both of these movies are executed on a very high level — the acting, scripts, cinematography, and direction are all first rate. Second, they are horror films in which the monster is us, which makes them uncomfortable from the get go. It just becomes a question of how far the directors are willing to go, and in the case of both these films, that answer turns out to be farther than you expect. A lot farther.

Rape, infanticide, and torture are hard enough when they are just implied. When they are realistically depicted on screen, by highly skilled professionals, it’s pretty devastating.

Now, I don’t think either director did this gratuitously — showing these scenes to some degree was necessary to tell these particular stories — but holy shit; seeing babies graphically killed on screen will leave even the most jaded viewer disturbed. Which, of course, is the point.

Don’t get me wrong — this is powerful filmmaking.

I just need a little time before jumping back in.