SWEET RIVER is a new Australian horror mystery that features many interesting characters and a very dark plot. A serial killer of children has been discovered but one child is still missing. Read our Sweet River movie review here!

SWEET RIVER is a new Australian horror mystery. It’s the kind of movie that could just as easily have been a South Korean production since it’s very character-driven and has a good pace from beginning to end.

It does run just a tad too long perhaps, but that’s hardly anything that ruins the overall experience. The movie is out on Netflix in Australia and New Zealand now. It should be coming out in the US in April 2021 (see more at the bottom of this review).

Continue reading our Sweet River movie review below.

A serial killer of children

The basis of this horror movie is a woman searching for her missing son. The plot thickens when we learn that a serial killer of children has been discovered. However, he killed himself immediately after being caught (or rather, before they got him in custody) and this woman’s son is still missing.

It’s never really a question of whether her son is still alive. She never believes that he is, but she needs to find him. Of course, she does. Who wouldn’t need this in order to get any kind of closure.

That’s why the mother, Hanna, moves to the town where the serial killer lived (and died). However, she soon discovers that many children have died in this town and the people living there have a very different kind of relationship with death than what you’d expect.

Sweet River – Netflix Horror Review

The cast of Sweet River 

I was familiar with some of the actors in Sweet River but definitely not all of them. Also, many of them looked quite different since this movie plays out in a rural Australian town, where the farming of bamboo is the one thing they have going for them.

Lisa Kay stars as Hanna, the mother searching for her son. She’s a clean edge kind of person, who listens to self-help audiobooks when she arrives in this small town. However, she quickly begins succumbing to virtually every substance that can numb her senses. Lisa Kay has been in most of the huge long-running Australian series including Neighbours and Home and Away.

The other main character in Sweet River is John Drake who is portrayed by Martin Sacks. You may know Martin Sacks from the prison series Wentworth. Also in a key role is actor Eddie Baroo (Black Sails) who is the co-writer of this movie.

Do check out Sweet River when you can!

Justin McMillan is the director of Sweet River with Eddie Baroo and Marc Furmie as screenwriters. This is the first feature film from Justin McMillan and a damn fine one. Previously, McMillan has directed both short films and documentaries, so he’s hardly new to directing.

As mentioned earlier, screenwriter Eddie Baroo is also in this movie (as the bus driver). He also co-wrote the 2012 horror movie Crawlspace (not to be confused with the 2017 movie), so he’s been acting and writing for some time. In fact, he’s also a singer, so he’s a bit of a jack of all trades.

If you like your horror movies to have plenty of mystery and drama (and some supernatural elements as well as a serial killer), then Sweet River should hit your sweet spot.

Sweet River is out on Netflix in Australia and New Zealand from December 5, 2020. It will also be out in limited theaters and VOD in the US via Gravitas Ventures from April 23, 2021.


Director: Justin McMillan
Writers: Eddie Baroo, Marc Furmie
Stars: Lisa Kay, Martin Sacks, Genevieve Lemon, Rob Carlton, Eddie Baroo, Jayden McGinlay, Charlotte Stent, Chris Haywood, Bryan Probets, Jack Ellis, Jeremy Walters, Sam Parsonson


In hopes of solving her son’s mysterious murder, grief-stricken Hanna visits the place of his death and explores a community full of sinister secrets.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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