In comparison to the Australian film industry, the size of the American film industry is unfathomable. But the creativity of it is lacking. Remakes, revamps and sequels dominate the US market. With franchises like Terminator, Charlie’s Angels and Jumanji all finding homes on the big screen once again. DC and Marvel keep spewing out the same old stuff with a few different characters here and there and while it’s entertaining enough, it’s hardly inventive filmmaking. Even by using newly developed technology and techniques, Ang Lee still only managed to make a barely tolerable film in Gemini Man. Sure it looked great, but it the story and script was no better than any 80’s or 90’s action film and is hardly worth you’re time if you don’t watch it in 3D+.
But the Australian market, is blooming with great new stories with original characters while keeping that genuine Australian look. Look at 2015’s Pawno, 2019’s Locusts and Top End Wedding and 2009’s The Loved Ones, they’re great examples. Imagine if the budgets that American films can garner were given to some of these films.
Another film to add to the above list, is The Furies.
While hunting kidnap victims in a forest in a film is nothing new, The Furies puts a spin on it that I haven’t seen before, and it’s definitely a welcome one.
The Furies, clearly made on a low-budget like many Australian films are, is well made by writer/director Tony D’Aquino, helming his first feature. With similarities to films like Wrong Turn (which spawned several sequels), but also with its own original story, character arcs and twists, The Furies follows a group of kidnapped women as they try to escape the clutches of deranged killers, chasing them through the scrub and abandoned industrial sites.
The Furies, does not hold back either, in the face of so many films that play it safe, cutting away from gore and violence to get that lesser rating and increase ticket sales, The Furies just cuts, and cuts, through flesh and bone. The beasts of the film are disgusting, determined and ruthless.
Lead actress, Airlie Dodds, from another great aussie horror in Killing Ground, is in excellent form as Kayla. Equally tough as she is emotional, she takes the metaphorical bull by the horns, taking her character from a scared, over-cautious young woman, to unparalleled survivalist, all while suffering from seizures, caused by her epilepsy.
The supporting cast of Linda Ngo, Taylor Ferguson and Ebony Vagulans as other young women on the run only add to the strength of the film. The same old horror clichés are even kept at bay for most of the film, with a smart protagonist that makes mostly good decisions. It’s honestly refreshing.
Tony D’Aquino has written an excellent horror film in The Furies. It’s also the rare aussie film that doesn’t try to showcase the Australian landscape with constant shots of ranges, rivers or native Australian wildlife, but it still keeps that vibrant, unique Australian look as characters run past big gums while Kookaburras laugh.
Needless to say, I really enjoyed The Furies, it’s a fun gore-fest that will keep every horror enthusiast entertained. It doesn’t hold back, being as ruthless as any horror film can be, and it has a killer ending.
Director: Tony D’Aquino
Cast: Airlie Dodds, Linda Ngo, Ebony Vagulans
Writer: Tony D’Aquino