Saturday, May 27, 2017

[Review] Hounds of Love

Ben Young's Hounds of Love is a tortuous, difficult-to-watch crime-thriller from way Down Under. And let's just say there isn't much love or friendly puppies involved.

It's set in Perth during the mid '80s and the plot sees a young woman named Vicki (Ashleigh Cummings) suddenly get kidnapped by a deranged serial killer couple (played greatly and creepily by Emma Booth and Stephen Curry--yes you read that right, and no it isn't the NBA star). From there, Vicki is chained up, abused, and held captive in a fight for survival and escape.

It pretty much goes without saying, but this is a sinister and sadistic film. There's a major sense of dread and helplessness. But it's engrossing. And gripping--enough to make you want to see how it all turns out in the end. I've seen this billed as a horror film, but that's a little misleading. It's definitely horrific and disturbing, but it isn't a *horror film* in the traditional sense. Its stark realism and overall grittiness reminded me of another grisly Australian crime story called Snowtown (or The Snowtown Murders). There are a bit of a post-It Follows vibes to it though--the slow-gliding voyeuristic camera pans, the static-y synths, and the fact that a lot of the ugly stuff takes place in broad daylight.

The pace can be on the slower side, but the great performances from the three mains always keep things interesting. And that ending, oh that ending.

( 7.5/10 )

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