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#10 BLACK WATER (2008)
Black Water image
Image Credit © ProdigyMovies

A gritty croc-attack film of high tension and authentic horror, Black Water stars Dianna Glenn and Maeve Dermody as vacationing sisters who who find themselves stranded in the mangrove swamps of northern Australia when a man-eating saltwater crocodile capsizes their boat.   

Released the same year as Greg McLean’s high-scale Rogue, the Andrew Traucki and David Nerlich directed Black Water proved to be the better croc-attack horror movie, thanks to great performances from its small yet prestigious cast, a superb use of practical effects, and effective use of location with the small mangrove swamps of Sydney’s Georges River standing in for northern Australia.


#9 PSYCHOSIS (2023)
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Image Credit © Kessel Run Productions

A concoction of George Romero, David Lynch, and John Huston squeezed into a 4:3 aspect ratio frame and presented in stark black and white, Psychosis stars Derryn Amoroso as Cliff Van Aarle, a criminal fixer burdened by auditory hallucinations who takes on a high paying case that places him in the crosshairs of Joubini (James McCluskey-Carcia) a drug kingpin and sadistic hypnotist who seems more monster than man.

With Psychosis, writer and director Pirie Martin takes traditional neo-noir elements and contorts them to fit his unique vision of a gum-shoe odyssey through the strange and surreal, where costumed vigilantes and masked villains occupy a dark and paranoid world that is as horrific as it is darkly comedic.


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Image Credit © Universal Pictures

A bloody, curse-filled zombie romp with a surprising-sweet side, Little Monsters stars Alexander England as Dave, a 30-something-year-old slacker who volunteers to supervise his five-year-old nephew during a class excursion so he can get closer to teacher Miss Caroline (Lupita Nyong’o). When a zombie uprising occurs, Dave and Caroline team up with cowardly children’s entertainer Teddy McGiggle (Josh Gad) to take on the undead horde and protect the children.

Written and directed by Abe Forsythe, Little Monsters is about as rude, crude, and vulgar as a zombie film can get, and it’s a blast while being so. With the slow, shuffling kind his zombie of choice, Forsythe sets up and executes several grizzly kills, with the sight of yellow dress wearing Nyong’o levelling zombies with a shovel one that will go down in zombie movie lore.


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#7 SISSY (2023)
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Image Credit © Arcadia

The award-winning horror satire Sissy stars Aisha Dee as Cecilia, a popular wellness influencer who is unexpectedly invited to her childhood best friends’ (Hannah Barlow) bachelorette weekend. When Cecilia comes face-to-face her school bully (Emily De Margheriti), a long-buried incident from the past in unearthed, leading to a craving for revenge.

Written and directed by Barlow and Kane Senes, Sissy blends social satire, slasher movie tropes, and striking visuals to create a potent psychological horror satire. At the forefront is Aisha Dee who delivers a commanding performance that is sure to test the loyalties of viewers.  



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Image Credit © Madman Entertainment

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. In the process director Jonathan Auf Der Heide creates a blood curling re-enactment of the events behind the legend of Pearce, driving a stake in the heart of Australia’s colonial romanticism and proving that the truth is as horrifying as any ghost story.

Chillingly portrayed by Redding, the infamous Pearce 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 auf der Heide’s sturdy direction.


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#5 LONG WEEKEND (1978)
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Image Credit © Umbrella Entertainment

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

What makes Long Weekend such a fascinating experience is that the viewer can’t help but often side with mother nature, as we witness an estranged couple (Briony Behets and 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 creation, as much as it is a chilling horror classic.


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Image Credit © Umbrella Entertainment

A brilliantly conceived and executed demonic-possession mockumentary that taps into the cultural impact of horror and TV during the gritty 1970s, Late Night with the Devil stars an excellent David Dastmalchian as Jack Delroy, a grieving late-night host who returns to his show, Night Owls, with a special Halloween episode that unleashes Hell on earth.   

Presented as a lost recording of the “live TV event that shocked a nation!”, Late Night with the Devil is a unique horror movie experience in which scares are delivered under the bright lights of prime time. It is a feat that Australian directors Cameron and Colin Cairnes pull off with impressive flair, with the transparent nature of the late-night TV format restricting the usual horror cheat-codes of dark lightning and jump-scare sound trickery.


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Image Credit © Umbrella Entertainment

Filmmaker Jennifer Kent’s debut The Babadook is a chiller of horror’s both psychological and supernatural. Essie Davis stars as Amelia, a single mother who six years after her husband’s violent death must contend with the increasingly aggressive behaviour from her son Samuel (Noah Wiseman), whose exasperated claims of a monster living in his closet brings forth unspeakable horrors and deeply supressed emotions.

Featuring an incredible performance by Essie Davis and a palpable sense of dread and foreboding that lurks behind every door and under every bed, The Babadook is pure, primal horror at its spookiest. No horror movie is complete without its bogeyman and Kent has created as frightening and mysterious a monster as they come in the Babadook, a figure that inspires fear, hatred, and violence and then gorges upon it.


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#2 TALK TO ME (2023)
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Image Credit © Umbrella Entertainment

A frightening and innovative tale of grief, loneliness, and the dire consequences of messing with the dark arts, Talk to Me stars Sophie Wilde as Mia, a teenager still grieving the loss of her mother a year prior. When Mia takes part in a unique séance ritual involving the amputated hand of a psychic encased in a clay cast, demonic spirits begin to exploit Mia’s fragile psyche leading to unspeakable horrors.

The feature film directorial debut of brothers Danny and Michael Philippou (who are also known by their YouTube channel RackaRacka), Talk to Me in its basic form is a demonic possession movie, yet the filmmaking skill and approach to storytelling brings a new lease of life to a worn-out subgenre of horror. 


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#1 LAKE MUNGO (2009)
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Image Credit © Umbrella Entertainment

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.

Hollywood have long attempted a remake, but it will be hard pressed to copy the sublime style, intimate horror, and heartfelt emotion found in Lake Mungo.


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Black Water DVD
Little Monsters DVD
Sissy Prime
Van Diemens Land DVD
Long Weekend DVD
Late Night with the Devil Prime
The Babadook Prime
Talk to Me image
Lake Mungo Prime

Created and Edited by Matthew Pejkovic / Contact:
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