The Snowtown Murders (2011) – Movie Review

Extreme horror films provide the world with films that are so controversial, not even horror fans can handle them. I wasn’t expecting The Snowtown Murdersalso known as Snowtown – to be in that category.

The Snowtown Murders was Justin Kurzel’s directorial debut. Since then, Kurzel has brought us Macbeth (2015) and the upcoming video game based film, Assassin’s Creed (2016). Despite it being his first project, The Snowtown Murders is definitely a disturbing film.

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(Synopsis is provided by Based on true events, The Snowtown Murders is about 16 year-old Jamie (Lucas Pittaway), who falls in with his mother’s new boyfriend, John (Daniel Henshall), and his hate-filled friends. Jamie soon realizes that these men are self-appointed neighborhood watchdogs, taking what they consider to be atrocious matters into their own hands.

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The film starts out very tame and then quickly takes a very messed up turn. Snowtown alternates from light-hearted scenes to images that were hard to sit through. I have to give props to Daniel Henshall’s performance as John Bunting. He was able to begin the film as a nice, helpful person before turning into a frightening psychopath. He was like two completely different men. Also, Lucas Pittaway did a great job playing his quiet, introverted protégé, Jamie.

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One thing I did have a big problem with was the ending, which was very abrupt. The film has a lot of filler and leaves an unfamiliar audience many unanswered questions. The music, however, fits the atmosphere perfectly.

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Final thoughts:

I’m not sure how The Snowtown Murders succeeds at being  both a slow burner and an extreme horror film at the same time. The film left me feeling uneasy, even though John’s story was one that needed to be told. With a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 83% and an IMDb rating of 6.6/10, my rating on the film is somewhere in between. If you’re interested in serial killers and extreme horror, make sure you check out The Snowtown Murders

About Karli Lawson

I basically grew up watching horror films and spooky things. I watched my first horror film when I was 4 years old. I've wanted to be a writer ever since I've read Stephen King books in middle school. I love writing and talking about my favorite genre. I hope to one day be successful in screenwriting and filmmaking. Everything horror, of course!

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