MIFF 2012 Review: 100 BLOODY ACRES world premiere
This may sound like a pretty familiar premise and in a lot of ways it is. There has not been a particular resurgence in Australian horror recently, but the Cairnes brothers, the directors of this fun and hackneyed film seem to be aware of this. Initial tropes and tense moments including the increasing suspicion in the van and the unlikeable and selfish protagonists take on a very delightful twist. The quickly established dysfunctions of couple Sophie and James and brothers Reg and Lindsay are used as a springboard to break through convention and introduce a complexity that severs most horror tropes evident in the film.
There is a fair amount of creativity employed by the directors and other than the farcical nature of this bizarre small business the manner in which they deal with their fertilizer is given full gory treatment, it would be disappointing if a film titled 100 Bloody Acres didn't deliver in this respect, but of course it does. This body horror comedy is set amongst some extreme Australiana and it will be interesting to gage international audience reaction to these colloquialisms.
Some scenes play out like satire, Wolf Creek a successful serious Australian horror seems to be lampooned several times here to great effect and it was also a pleasure to see John Jarratt make a cameo in the film. Other noteworthy scenes include a brilliant running joke about a local radio station playing the Morgan Brothers ad, not only is the ad itself awful, but it is used as a gage to measure the brothers insanity, moving from loving the ad and being proud of it to hating it outright. To add to this Australiana, and besides the great score, 100 Bloody Acres utilizes country music well, in establishing the scene but also cleverly reflecting the protagonists' feelings at the time.
The tropey jerk Wesley plays like a poor man's Russell Brand and it is easy to get tired of him, luckily though his character goes off the deep end and into some wonderful places that I will not spoil, suffice to say it involves a twisted fairyland. Meanwhile, the troubled couple Sophie and James argues amidst the most dire and illogical of circumstances and amidst this she attempts to manipulate and seduce the affable Reg to release her to hilarious effect, his responses to her also proving at once distressing but also darkly funny and strangely involving Australian actress Rebecca Gibney. These twisted moments with bizarre timing really make 100 Bloody Acres stand out from most horrors; it plays with convention and molds it into a sick and twisted form that is such a relief to behold.
For lovers of original horror this is a must and I highly recommend it, I had a blast with 100 Bloody Acres it is a laugh riot and completely bizarre, a welcomed entry into the burgeoning Australian film scene.
Just one warning however, be prepared for a scene that is akin to the fried chicken in the film Killer Joe, good luck trying to get it out of your head!
100 Bloody Acres is playing now at MIFF, theatrical release TBA