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#10
WOLF CREEK (2005)
Wolf Creek poster

CAST
JOHN JARRATT, CASSANDRA MAGRATH, KESTIE MORASSI, NATHAN PHILLIPS

DIRECTED BY
GREG McLEAN

The bane of the Australian tourism board, Wolf Creek is less shrimp on the barbie, and more human flesh mounted on the wall.

The debut of writer/director Greg McLean, the film is an unsettling experience sure to provide nightmares for weeks on end, as a trio of backpackers are tortured by sadistic outback jokester Mick Taylor, an unforgettable monster portrayed oddly enough by loveable TV personality and all around good guy John Jarratt.

 

 


#9
NEXT OF KIN (1982)
Next of Kin poster

CAST
JACKI KERIN, JOHN JARRATT, ALEX SCOTT, GERDA NICOLSON, ROBERT RATTI

DIRECTED BY
TONY WILLIAMS

Hailed by Quentin Tarantino as the film that “reminds you the most of The Shining”, this little seen Australian classic does indeed evoke Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece, yet also stands on its own as a chilling slasher movie, as the sins of the past come back to haunt the new owner (Jackie Kerin) of an aged care facility.

Director Tony Williams provides striking imagery and paces the film very well, but unfortunately it would be his last movie.    

 

 

#8
ROADGAMES (1981)
Roadgames poster

CAST
STACEY KEACH, JAMIE LEE CURTIS, MARION EDWARD, GRANT PAGE

DIRECTED BY
RICHARD FRANKLIN

America’s princess of horror Jamie Lee Curtis featured in this witty horror mystery, but it is Stanley Keach’s performance as an American truck driver playing tit for tat with a serial killer on the Australian roadways, that will remain fresh on the mind after the credits role.

Directed by Richard Franklin, Roadgames effectively weaves horror, comedy, and good ol’ auto carnage into an entertaining and enthralling psychological thriller.    

 

 

#7
THE LOVED ONES (2010)
The Loved Ones poster

CAST
ROBIN McLEAVY, XAVIER SAMUEL, JOHN BRUMPTON, JESSICA McNAMEE, VICTORIA THAIME

DIRECTED BY
SEAN BYRNES

Combining hard edged violence with twisted humour, The Loved Ones stars Twilight actor Xavier Samuel as a glutton for punishment at the hands of sadistic wannabe beauty queen Lola.

Draped in pink and with much “love” to share, Lola is effectively portrayed by Robin McLeavy in what is sure to be an iconic performance in the annals of horror.

Gruesome yet with key moments of quiet reflection, this debut by writer/director Sean Byrne is one to be seen.   

 

 

#6
BLACK WATER (2008)
Black Water poster

CAST
MAEVE DERMODY, DIANA GLENN, ANDY RODOREDA

DIRECTED BY
DAVID NERLICH, ANDREW TRAUCKI

Released the same year as Greg McLean’s highly publicised Rogue, this gritty feature proved to be the better croc attack film, thanks to great performances from its small yet prestigious cast, and a superb use of special effects.

 

 

#5
PATRICK (1978)
Patrick poster

CAST
SUSAN PENHALIGON, ROBERT HELPMANN, ROD MULLINAR, BRUCE BARRY, ROBERT THOMPSON

DIRECTED BY
RICHARD FRANKLIN

Perhaps the best telekinesis themed horror movie (yep, even better than Carrie), this 1978 Richard Franklin classic starred Robert Thompson as a comatose killer enamoured with his nurse (Susan Penhaligon), using his telekinetic powers against anyone who came between them.

Great use of tension, fine performances, and an ever constant commentary on the right to life makes Patrick a film worth checking out.

 

 

#4
VAN DIEMENS LAND (2009)
Van Diemen's Land poster

CAST
OSCAR REDDING, ARTHUR ANGEL, PAUL ASHCROFT, MARK LEONARD WINTER, TORQUIL NELSON

DIRECTED BY
JONATHAN AUF DER HEIDE

A Darwinian horror movie, Van Diemen’s Land tells the true story of cannibal convict Alexander Pearce and his fight for survival in the Tasmanian wilderness.

Chillingly portrayed by Oscar Redding, the infamous convict is presented as a quiet man with a keen intellect and a taste for human flesh, the horror of this all too real piece of Australian history beautifully clashing with Ellery Ryan’s stunning photography, and Jonathan auf der Heide’s precision direction.

 

 


#3
LONG WEEKEND (1978)
Long Weekend poster

CAST
BRIONY BEHETS, JOHN HARGREAVES

DIRECTED BY
COLIN EGGLESTON

While the Australian landscape has long been a prominent factor in many Aussie films, Long Weekend took it one step closer by having the environment and its varied inhabitants play the role of the antagonist.

Yet what makes Long Weekend such a fascinating experience, is that more often than not we the viewer can’t help but side with mother nature, as we witness an estranged couple (Briony Behets, John Hargreaves) act out crimes against the environment with little or no regret.

In turn Long Weekend is as much a social commentary on our relationship with the Earth, as much as it is a chilling horror classic.

 

 

#2
LAKE MUNGO (2009)
Lake Mungo poster

CAST
ROSIE TRAYNOR, DAVID PLEDGER, MARTIN SHARPE, TALIA ZUCKER, STEVE JODRELL

DIRECTED BY
JOEL ANDERSON

A film about grief and revelation, Lake Mungo succeeds as both a portrait of a family in mourning, and a chilling ghost story where even a simple photograph featuring a paranormal apparition can give chills.

Gorgeously shot and impeccably acted, writer/director Joel Anderson uses the ever popular mockumentary format and makes it his own, turning in a film just as frightening as any Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity, but anchored with an undeniable sense of humanity.

Of course an American remake is underway, but it will be hard pressed to copy the sublime style, intimate horror, and heartfelt emotion found in Lake Mungo.

 

 

#1
PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK (1975)
Picnic at Hanging Rock psoter

CAST
VIVEAN GREY, DOMINIC GUARD,JOHN JARRET,ANNE-LOUISE LAMBERT,HELEN MORSE

DIRECTED BY
PETER WEIR

An eerie horror mystery based on the supposed true life disappearance of three schoolgirls and a teacher in the Australian outback, Peter Weir’s critical breakthrough Picnic at Hanging Rock is as chilling a mystery as they come.

Blending period detail with paranormal activity, the dread in Picnic… is palpable as no resolution is given for what happened to these people, who presumably vanished in thin air as Weir forces us to use our imagination and draw our own conclusions. Yet the most distressing thing of all is that no conclusion can be formed.

 

 

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