Brothers Reg (Damon Herriman) and Lindsay Morgan (Angus Sampson) are small business operators who found success for their fertiliser business when they blended car crash victims into their blood and bone mix. The eager-to-please younger brother Reg jumps at the chance of more success when he comes across another crash victim who hit a tree on the way to an Australia Day music festival. His desire to keep his short tempered brother happy takes a sharp turn when he picks up three more festival goers, who made the classic mistake of taking an old car onto a country road.
The film’s slow start introduces us into the fairly typical love triangle between the festival goers Sophie (Anna McGahan), Wesley (Jamie Kristian) and James (Oliver Ackland) where affairs and engagement rings all come out in the first ten minutes. Once these first live victims are imprisoned on the brothers’ “100 bloody acre” farm the suspense and ill-fated escape attempts begin which are not assisted by the acid-tripping Wesley’s warped understanding of the situation.
100 Bloody Acres is an example of a successful Australian twist on the overdone horror and gore genre. The movie is shocking but that’s due to the finer comedic and plot turns rather than from the use of traditional horror or gore techniques. The classic Australian music and the cameo from John Jarratt and a surprising appearance of Rebecca Gibney feature nicely with the comedic touches to play well to the Australian audiences.
Sampson is superb in his role as a domineering and dark Lindsay as he uses his deep voice and stare to the advantage of his character. Lindsay’s role in his own love triangle casts shadows over the generally-shallow position of the festival goers’ relationships and raises questions about what is expected within different relationship types. Herriman’s work as the hapless Reg manipulates the role well to create a loveable character out of a wrongdoer.
Set entirely within one sunny afternoon in the Adelaide Hills, the production, under the direction of Cameron Cairnes and Colin Cairnes, shows off the beauty in some of the isolated farming communities as well as the darker side of small business operators.
Reviewed by Alex Dunkin
Rating out of 10: 8
In cinemas 1 August 2013