Review: Snowtown

Snowtown is definitely not a movie for the faint-hearted.

Directed by Justin Kurzel it’s based on the chilling murders in South Australia 10 years ago and show how the worst serial killer in Australia’s history manipulates those around him to believe the lies he tells.

Lucas Pittaway plays Jamie Vlassakis as an unsuspecting teenager who sees his mother Elizabeth (Louise Harris) go from boyfriend to boyfriend eventually finding John Bunting (Daniel Henshall).

Jamie, who sees the addition of John to be a welcome change to his dysfunctional family quickly discovers that Bunting isn’t as charismatic as he assumed.

Things quickly turn sour when John’s true colours are revealed. Throughout the movie, with every graphic scene and incident you can’t help but feel a certain amount of anger towards Jamie and why he doesn’t do anything about what is happening to not only him but to other members of his family.

The infamous “bodies in the barrels” story shocked Australia and this movie does a very good job at adding to that. But when you are faced with scene after scene of “gore” you do understand the response this film got at the recent Cannes Film Festival in France.

Snowtown is a gritty, raw drama that at some times is extremely hard to watch. The film was deliberately made like this and although it may be a ploy to get attention, it can get a little over the top at times.

The 2-hour film ultimately doesn’t explain why Bunting committed the murders. I left the screening unable to comprehend what sort of message the director was trying to give his audience.

What made Snowtown difficult to watch wasn’t the blood on screen – it was knowing there are people out there who actually commit these unspeakable crimes.

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