Monday, October 29, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—The Snowtown Murders (2012) ***

NR, 119 min.
Director: Justin Kurzel
Writers: Shaun Grant, Justin Kurzel, Debi Marshall (book “Killing for Pleasure”), Andrew McGarry (book “The Snowtown Murders”)
Starring: Lucas Pittaway, Daniel Henshaw, Louise Harris, Frank Cwertniak, Matthew Howard, Marcus Howard, David Walker, Anthony Groves, Richard Green

Murder is one of the great mysteries of man. Why? What drives an individual to murder in a situation when murder is not a natural course of action? It’s easy to understand murder in war, or in self-defense, when it isn’t technically murder. It’s never easy to take a life, and yet there are people who seem to derive pleasure from it.

“The Snowtown Murders” tells the story of Australia’s most prolific serial killer through the eyes of a boy who is greatly influenced by him. The movie is stark and fragmented. I believe this is to replicate the perception the boy has of this evil man. The killer comes into the boy’s life when a pedophile takes advantage of him and his younger brothers. His mother begins a relationship with the killer after he helps her run the pedophile out of the neighborhood.

The killer is charming and conniving. He works his way into the family; seeming like the good father figure the boys have been missing. His ideas seem reasonable at first, but soon reveal themselves to be psychotic.  

The movie is very impressionistic. Without title cards before the end credits it would be impossible to know what really happened from the depiction of events in the film. It’s a little long and a little slow, but it shows well how such a man could continue to kill and convince people to be loyal to him and to help him in his awful deeds. 

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