Snowtown (image 1)

Snowtown is not about the why of evil, but the how of it. It's an extremely well-made, shattering film.

Julie Rigg, ABC Radio National

Screened as part of NZIFF 2011

Snowtown 2011

Directed by Justin Kurzel

“Buyer beware: Snowtown is no ordinary ‘serial killer’ movie. There is no charismatic Hannibal Lector… Director Justin Kurzel has brilliantly recreated scenes from Australia’s most notorious killing/torture spree.” — Screendaily

120 minutes

Director

Producers

Anna McLeish
,
Sarah Shaw

Screenplay

Shaun Grant. Inspired by the books Killing for Pleasure by Debi Marshall and The Snowtown Murders by Andrew McGarry

Photography

Adam Arkapaw

Editor

Veronika Jenet

Music

Jed Kurzel

With

Lucas Pittaway (Jamie)
,
Daniel Henshall (John)
,
Louise Harris (Elizabeth)
,
Anthony Groves (Troy)
,
David Walker (Mark)
,
Aaron Viergever (Robert)
,
Richard Green (Barry)
,
Beau Gosling (David)
,
Frank Cwertniak (Jeffrey)
,
Aasta Brown (Verna)

Festivals

Adelaide, Cannes (Critics’ Week) 2011

Elsewhere

This scarily credible movie about serial killer John Bunting takes Australian cinema’s fertile fascination with its most flagrant outlaws into the realms of pure horror. Targeting alleged paedophiles, gays and other ‘scum’ about whom ‘no one gives a shit’, Bunting and his followers committed 11 gruesome murders in the northern outskirts of Adelaide between 1992 and 1999. As it turns out, the film by first-time director Justin Kurzel eschews the dramatic thrills that murder stories conventionally offer and serves the horrors chilly and chilling, in an atmosphere of creeping depravity. Kurzel sinks us deep into a denatured, rootless suburban netherworld where a controlling, inscrutable monster like Bunting (Daniel Henshall) can hold sway. Our companion into this living horror show is Jamie (Lucas Pittaway), an awkward, abused kid who responds gratefully when Bunting takes up with his mother and encourages him to toughen up. Knowing only as much about what’s going on as Bunting lets Jamie see, we watch as the lost kid becomes a bloated, baffled and bloodied minion of the devil. What’s supremely disturbing and salutary about this portrait of a serial killer is its dogged adherence to the knowable. — BG