Killing Ground is yet another truly great horror movie to come out of Australia. Intense, creepy, and relentless. You have to watch this one!
Killing Ground is an Australian horror movie, which means my expectations are already way up there. It’s actually pretty unfair that I expect all horror from “Down Under” to be great.
But from The Loved Ones to Wolf Creek, I’ve just enjoyed some pretty awesome Australian horror movies.
Nevermind the fact that both the weather and many of the animals there could kill you. The horror tends to focus on the crazy humans that apparently live there. And yet, I can’t wait to visit the country. Go figure!
Anyway, back to Killing Ground. It turned out to be yet another terrifying Australian horror movie.
Officially, it’s a thriller first and foremost, but trust me; This. Is. Horror.
The eerie feeling is there from the very beginning. And while Killing Ground does start out by setting the frame perfectly, the crazy isn’t far behind.
Killing Ground is all about survival
When I say Killing Ground has “crazy” in it, what I really mean is homicidal. And also torture (mind and body), including sexual assault.
However, we don’t actually see most of this. And Kudos to filmmaker Damien Power for that. Torture porn is often used as an easy ploy. And don’t worry, if you’re a fan of gore. There will be blood. In fact, most people in this movie will bleed in some way before it’s all over.
While Killing Ground is about some depraved Aussies (their version of Chainsaw Massacre rednecks) having fun hunting people, the story is about survival.
More specifically, it’s about what people are ready to do in order to survive. And to make sure their loved ones survive. Hell, even just trying to help your fellow man.
Or not help your fellow man, to save your own ass. Both reactions are valid and shown in Killing Ground.
Harriet Dyer is an instant icon
Again and again, horror movies introduce us to kick-ass female characters. Australian horror movies have been no exception. Including the completely insane female characters.
Forget Buffalo Bill, I’m terrified of Lola (aka “Princess”) from The Loved Ones.
In the case of Killing Ground, we get a kick-ass female character in the hero capacity. Harriet Dyer delivers an amazing portrayal of Sam. A young woman, who isn’t afraid to ask for what she wants or take charge. Also, she never gives up!
Of course, if you’re a crazy human-hunter, then this is just the kind of challenge, you enjoy!
To my surprise, Harriet Dyer tends to do a lot of comedy. As someone who loves the horror-comedy subgenre, I can see a perfect way to combine these talents. Just sayin’.
As far as the “human hunters” go, Aaron Pedersen and Aaron Glenane deliver absolutely perfect performances. In fact, I’m ready for another round of these psychos.
Also, Ian Meadows plays Sam’s boyfriend and has his work cut out for him. A very interesting character that surprises you again and again. I highly doubt an American remake would ever allow him to act the same way. Unfortunately.
Brilliant feature film debut from Damien Power
Even though writer-director of Killing Ground, Damien Power, has made several short films, this is actually his feature film debut. I am both amazed and extremely excited about the potential.
Whatever Damien Power comes up with next, I will definitely want to check it out. Both the story and production of this movie is beyond anything I expected.
It definitely dares to go that extra step into the uncomfortable zone. And not for the sake of shock and awe, but simply to show human nature. At its worst and best!
Killing Ground premiered at the 2016 Melbourne International Film Festival. You can watch it in limited US theatrical release or on VOD from July 21, 2017.
Make sure you watch this one!
Director: Damien Power
Writer: Damien Power
Cast: Tiarnie Coupland, Aaron Pedersen, Harriet Dyer, Stephen Hunter, Maya Stange, Ian Meadows, Mitzi Ruhlmann, Aaron Glenane
A couple’s romantic camping trip becomes a desperate fight for survival in this ultra-raw, unhinged kill ride. In need of a break from the pressures of their life in the city, Sam (Harriet Dyer) and Ian (Ian Meadows) head to a remote beach for a weekend getaway. When they come across an abandoned campsite, with no trace of its occupants, they’re concerned. When they discover a lone, traumatized child nearby, they’re scared. And when they encounter two local weirdos, they’re in for a hell of a bad time. Unfolding in an innovative, time-scrambling structure, Killing Ground delivers both nerve-shredding suspense and gut-punching realism.
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