Man, sometimes the scariest shit of all is how the sins of our kinfolk follow us into the present. It’s the type of horror you can’t shake off no matter how well you live your life. That’s what makes it scary as hell. And that’s the backbone of Savages Crossing – the new Aussie thriller written by John Jarratt of Wolf Creek fame. The tense Aussie thriller compresses space and time to create a merciless drama that most Hollywood bullshit can’t come close to. Boiled down, Savages Crossing is a perfect example of pure thriller simplicity.
A powerful storm leaves several locals and tourists trapped in a roadside cafe. These storms back a mother and son into a corner as they try to flee their gambling, boozing patriarch who’s recently been released from the pen. Then an alleged cop shows up looking for the father and all hell breaks loose. But not everything is as it seems and the audiences’ loyalty is challenged throughout the film.
Over the course of its 90 minutes, a litany of hard revelations are violently confronted and put to death. It does a great job of putting the audience in a comfortable place, then it rips the carpet out from under ya. There’s big rig action, adept female bartenders, and heaps of outback creepiness. Think Nicolas Roeg meets Eli Roth – in the best way possible.
It’s also dark as hell. Most of the film takes place at night, making it inherently dark. But content-wise the film dips into some genuinely bleak territory. The theme of revenge is popular as shit in American films, so when it’s done in an original manner, like here, it’s truly something to witness.
Recently, the Aussie film industry has been on the cusp of breaking through internationally like it did during the grimy and glorious Ozploitation years of the 1980s. Films like Animal Kingdom, Wolf Creek, and Snowtown have shed light on the darker side of the island, and have been embraced by most film critics around the globe. Shit, what’s stopping this place? Savages Crossing proves again that even with a lower than low-budget, Aussie filmmakers are ready to kick the world’s ass.
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