‘The Snowtown Murders’, a strong directorial debut, showing great promise for a first time filmmaker

- Advertisement -


The Snowtown Murders

Directed by Justin Kurzel

Screenplay by Shaun Grant

2011, Australia

First-time director Justin Kurzel and screenwriter Shaun Grant, using pointers from the books The Snowtown Murders and Killing for Pleasure, tell the story of John Bunting, Australia’s most notorious serial killer, whose modus operandi led to his 1990s killing spree – dubbed the “bodies in the barrels” case.

Snowtown is unrelentingly grim and terrifying – a strong directorial debut, showing great promise for a first time filmmaker. Director Justin Kurzel delivers a slow, effective burn, examining how one man’s harmful beliefs spread through a community in the most horrific way possible. Kurzel for the most part avoids sensationalistic, macabre or exploitative techniques. Well past the half-way mark, Snowtown is noticeably shy on demonstrating any direct depictions of the atrocities committed by Bunting. There is very little actual onscreen violence. Instead, scenes of rape, child molestation, and animal brutality take up the majority of the film’s first half. Snowtown shows the irrational paranoia and prejudice of a small community, and how Bunting carefully infected the minds of those around him – spotlighting the very worst attitudes in society. The result is depressing and at times unbearable to watch.

“stripped-down, improv-heavy dialogue and naturalistic performances lend the film a gut-wrenching authenticity..

Some argue that Snowtown fails to provide a solid motive for the murderous actions, apart from a vague sense of bad upbringing – but director Kurzel is more concerned with the visceral experience; making us feel the events, rather than understand them. And what is there to understand really? A man as sick as Bunting did not need a logical reason to end a life. Snowtown is designed to reveal how somebody like John Bunting can creep inside a a community and spread fear, hatred and bigotry. This is as much a story about the nature of seduction as it is about a famous serial killer, and Kurzel’s approach is far more disturbing than any “horror film” in recent memory.

“Justin Kurzel’s debut feature marks the arrival of a fully-formed talent coming out of what seems to be Australia’s golden age of crime pics…

The production values are solid across the board. The minimalist, pulsating score of Jed Kurzel really gets under your skin. Cinematographer Adam Arkapaw (who also lensed Animal Kingdom) shoots in cold, grey twilight hues and does a wonderful job to convey the bleakness of the events in contrast to the beautiful landscape. Arkapaw really does have a unique eye for finding beauty in ugliness. Daniel Henshall, the only trained actor, plays John Bunting. His performance is utterly terrifying and compelling every step of the way. Henshall brings a cool, methodical menace to his character, while Lucas Pittaway is outstanding as the weak and impressionable Jamie. With very little dialogue, Jamie is a character that needs an actor who can look emotionally tense and mentally unstable throughout the majority of the pic. Pittaway says more with his eyes than with his words – it is acting of the highest calibre from a first-time performer. The rest of the actors are entirely composed of local non-actors Kurzel gathered from the suburb where the film takes place. Their stripped-down, improv-heavy dialogue and naturalistic performances lend the film a gut-wrenching authenticity that cannot be overlooked.

Justin Kurzel’s debut feature marks the arrival of a fully-formed talent coming out of what seems to be Australia’s golden age of crime pics. Snowtown is absolutely mesmerizing, uncompromising and a one of a kind. This is one of the most unnerving serial killer films ever made, but it’s a movie you should subject yourself to, regardless.

Ricky D





10 Different Types of Financial Aid
Top 10 Richest American Idols
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The 5 Most Expensive Wireless Headphones: Ultimate Auditory Clarity
Business man watching business go bankrupt
25 Iconic Companies that Filed for Bankruptcy
The cast of Married...With Children
25 Little-Known Facts about Married…With Children TV Show
Ice Cube at Straight Outta L.A. at Tribeca Film Festival in 2010
10 Best Ice Cube Movies When You Want to Watch Ice Cube
Luke Evans at the Los Angeles premiere of Beauty And The Beast held at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood
10 Best Luke Evans Movies (He did that?)
Football movie being filmed
The 25 Greatest Football Movies of All Time
4 Different Types of Cauliflower (Plus Health Benefits)
12 Different Types of Pecans
28 Different Types of Pineapple
20 Different Types of Limes
10 Different Types of Tow Trucks
Electric mountain bike on the trails
18 Things to Know Before Buying an Electric Bike
Side and rear view of black 2017 Audi A7
23 Things to Know Before Buying an Audi A7
Motorhome on highway going through Bryce Canyon in the USA
13 Types of RV’s (Recreational Vehicles) for All Kinds of Vacation Fun
13 Different Types of Dumbbells
15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)
Baseball player hitting ball
10 Types of Baseball Bats that Rip the Leather Off the Ball
16 Types of Barbells for All Types of Lifts and Workouts
Camera, lenses and other photography equipments.
45 of the Best Online Photography and Camera Stores
9 Different Types of Website Hosting
5 Different Types of Pulleys (Plus Examples in Daily Life)
Apple Wallet icon on iPhone
15 Things to Know Before Setting Up Apple Pay
Natural herbal vitamins.
10 of the Best Online Vitamin Stores
>