Friday, February 17, 2012


Candidate # 8

(May 2011)

As a feature debut, Justin Kurzel’s Snowtown--which chronicles the crossing of the paths of “Australia’s worst serial killer,” John Justin Bunting, and young James Spyridon Vlassakis--is an astoundingly self-assured piece that is a particularly difficult cinematic experience to sit through.
And I mean that in the best possible way.
This one has a profound sense of disquiet and unease that permeates its nearly two-hour running time, with riveting central performances by Daniel Henshall as Bunting, and Lucas Pittaway as Jamie Vlassakis. The fact that this is Pittaway’s acting debut (he was spotted at a shopping center and asked to audition for the role) makes his on-screen achievement even more noteworthy.
Fair warning though, as I said earlier, this one’s tough to get through, but what Kurzel manages to capture here is a level of disturbing that many straight-forward horror films never even come close to.

Parting shot: Snowtown will be known during its US release as The Snowtown Murders, actually the title of one of the books Snowtown’s script was inspired by.

(Snowtown OS’ courtesy of

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