Tuesday, July 07, 2015

"The Snowtown Murders" Duo Return to Creep Us Out Again

The Snowtown Murders isn't what you'd call a traditional horror movie, but it chilled and disturbed me more than any "bump in the night" haunted house flick from the last decade. To be more accurate, it ripped my emotions right out of my core, shook them violently for two hours, and then after politely giving them back, punched me five times in the gut. The picture left me unsettled and shaken for hours after viewing it and some of its images still haunt me to this day. It's an experience that I am not eager to suffer through again, but that doesn't stop it from being an incredible movie that is one of must-see of the past decade. Not all movies need to be delightful popcorn munchers or uplifting stories that propel you high into the clouds, because sometimes it is important and valuable to get beaten down and traumatized a little by art in order to open up thoughts and discussion.

Even though director Justin Kurzel and screenwriter Shaun Grant crafted a work that makes it hard for me to dare leave the tight corner of the room, I desperately want them to team up again and make another picture that will assuredly drain every ounce of emotion out of me. IF is reporting that the filmmaking team is uniting to create a picture about the infamous Australian criminal Ned Kelly that will be an adaptation based on Peter Carey's 2000 novel, True History of the Kelly Gang.

Snowtown was marketed as a true crime thriller and based on the 1990s murder committed by John Bunting and his followers. The genre looks to be the duo's speciality even if this time around the source material is a fictionalized version from Kelly's point of view where he details his running from the authority. Even though the novel would be filed in the fiction section of the book store, in the land of movies if it isn't a documentary then a story must always be assumed to have some major creative re-workings for the narrative to be cinematic.

The important part is the emotions and atmosphere feel authentic and true. This is where I fully trust Kurzel and Grant in plunging us into a dark and uncomfortable journey that feels realistic to how it would have been to travel alongside the notorious Kelly way back in the mid to late - l800s. One of the most chilling parts of Snowtown was how a cold-blooded murderer like Bunting amassed a group of men to follow him and convince them to believe his ideals and philosophies. He was charismatic and likable, which means the viewer is floored by the murders and acts of violence or how kindly he spouts bile and hatred.

Despite Kelly being a thief and murderer, many citizens saw him as a hero and similar to a Robin Hood figure fighting back against British oppression. A lot of what made Snowtown work, would be just as effective in this new movie. We need to be sucked in by Kelly and see why he garnered a following, but then also be exposed to his evilness. In both cases we're forced to follow along a villain and hopefully, similar to their previous work, Kurzel and Grant have the guts to make an unrepentant lead that the movie won't redeem or justify. I am confident that I'll get several sleepless nights all over again.

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