Sometimes I stumble on films not for the faint of heart. But movies like this can hit their intent. How shocking is too shocking?
Quick Film Info
Writer and Director: Damien Power.
His upcoming feature film 'No Exit' commenced pre-production in March 2019. A drama about some kidnappers on a highway. Another film in the works, ‘Peekaboo’ will be a short film adaptation and as of 2018, has not passed the treatment stage.
Release: August 2017 in Australia. Released by Hypergiant Films.
Genre: Survival horror.
Budget: $1.3 million.
Shout out to Black Dirt for their awesome tracks throughout.
Starring: Aaron Pedersen, Ian Meadows, Harriet Dyer, and Aaron Glenane.
What's Is Killing Ground About?
Wanting some peace and quiet, Ian and Samantha choose an idyllic spot in a National Park. The campground is all but deserted except for an SUV and a tent.
When it becomes clear that whoever owns the car and camping gear are nowhere to be found, Samantha and Ian discover more than they bargained for.
Where Is Killing Ground Filmed?
Killing Ground is filmed in Australia. Specifically Macquarie Fields set against bushland and the river near Sydney. Although in the middle of nowhere, Macquarie Fields is still close enough to the inner city (approximately half an hours drive) to make it a great place to make a movie.
Trailer for Killing Ground
My Thoughts on Killing Ground
Some movies have an inherent ability to make you feel like they have knocked the wind out of you. It's not a feeling I go looking for when I want to watch a horror film.
I really dig survival horror. Only last year, I got around to seeing Eden Lake (2008), but there are a few others I hold in high esteem; Rogue (2007) 28 Days Later (2002) and Zombieland (2009) to name a few. Killing Ground is definitely an underrated gem you need to see if you like these kinds of films.
Damien Power, the writer, and director for Killing Ground screened his film at Sundance 2016 to rave reviews.
Killing Ground includes amazing techniques in its narrative that work ingeniously to tell the story. Where Australian horror films like Wolf Creek dive into over the top schlock, this movie remains firmly in terror territory. There is so much tension here you might need a drink when it's over. Not only that, some of the scenes are extremely violent, even if the violence takes place off-screen.
Powers uses restraint and leaves the more disturbing scenes in the mind of the viewer. Usually reserved as a cost-saving device, here it allows for a wider audience and those that are not fans of gratuitous gore will not be subjected to endless scenes of heart-numbing action.
Be warned there is some sensitive content in this. Whether it is graphically shown or not, what I imagined in my mind will stay with me for some time. The story grips you with a heavy bar and beats you down over the course of the 88 minutes inside a tension-filled hopefulness.
Killing Ground creeps along at first. Just enough character development to become invested in everyone in the cast. Even the antagonists, German and Chook (Aaron Pedersen and Aaron Glenane) get dealt with in a subjective way. Both are normal enough to be interesting and have a backstory of their own but horrid enough that you don't want to get too close.
The simple narrative includes plot twists and turns peppered throughout the short run-time. You might even wonder about the fate of one of the characters long after the credits have rolled.
Killing Ground is not a perfect film but everything about it makes it a very clever one.
I give Killing Ground 4 pig hunting dogs out of 5.
Questions & Answers
Question: Did Ollie, the baby in Killing Ground, live?
Answer: There is no clear answer to this. It is assumed that as the dog was protecting the baby it may have alerted a person that the child was still there.
© 2018 Movie Whisperer