Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Long Weekend (1978)

Tom:
Long Weekend,1978,Australia
Director: Colin Eggleston
Stars: John Hargreaves, Briony Behets & Mike McEwen

                                          ''If you go out in the woods, you better be in disguise...''

'Long Weekend' is a classic and mostly forgotten ''Ozplotation'' film, It is surprisingly hardly ever mentioned in the lore of Australian films, hell I'm Australian and hadn't heard of this film until last week, upon reading the plot summary, I instantly searched out this film.

An Australian couple, suffering from monumental issues in their marriage, set out to a distant beach in the country to spend a long weekend, but they conduct thoughtless acts that damage the nature of the area, They disrespected nature and now nature will disrespect there cries for mercy!

To be perfectly honest, throughout the first 45 minutes of this film, I was struggling to get emotionally invested and felt I was going to dislike this film. I understood the characters were supposed to be insufferable, but I was just getting fed up watching these people, just then 'Long Weekend' took me by its grip and from then on I was completely enthralled. The last half of this film is just brilliant!

One of my favorite aspects of 'Long Weekend' is its minimalist approach to depicting the attacks of the animals, I always have to give props to a Horror/Thriller film that doesn't resort to hitting its audience over the head with tacky special effects in order to get a reaction out of them. Its always scarier predicting when the horror will arrive, is it not ? 'Long Weekend' uses this mentality to brilliance, Its so effective in that way, Your always anticipating,

Colin Eggleston's direction is brilliant as he creates a phenomenally terror charged atmosphere that has to be seen to be believed. Everett De Roche's screenplay is also fantastic and together Eggleston work together to create such a tense and thrilling film. They are obviously influenced by Hitchcock, in particular 'The Birds'.

The performances are irritating and never enjoyable, but I guess they weren't supposed to be, characters take a back seat in a film like this. John Hargreaves plays a horribly intensive and borderline abusive man, who the audiences thrives to see comeuppance of. Briony Behets plays a more sympathetic character. 

As I mentioned, I wasn't all that interested in the first 45 minutes of this film, but its last half is so incredibly gripping, another example that Australia has a decent success rate in the horror genre and we should definitely invest more into it.

***1/2

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