100 Bloody Acres - Review
It is not very often you can call a horror film charming and quirky but these are the two most prominent words that come to mind when writing about the new Australian indie horror/dark comedy ‘100 Bloody Acres’. Using a stereotypical depiction of country dwelling Aussie’s to both make the audience laugh and cringe at the same time, ‘100 Bloody Acres’ is a real treat.
A quick story breakdown: Reg (Damon Herriman) and Lindsay (Angus Sampson) have their own organic fertiliser business. Lately they have discovered a special ingredient to add into their fertiliser. When Reg comes across three stranded kids on their way to a music festival, opportunity comes knocking.
This simple premise is explored and expanded to the breaking point in ‘100 Bloody Acres’. Riffing on the oft used ‘backwoods psycho’ trope, the film rides the edge never tipping itself into full on comedy (although there are some great one-liners) and never really going too dark into the horror territory (although there are some gory moments). ‘100 Bloody Acres’ had me smiling nearly all the way through it without breaking out into any fits of laughter, but the film still maintained its aforementioned quirky and charming feel the entire way through.
The whole cast is uniformly very good. Sampson (Insidious) and Herriman (Justified) are great together, the latter providing the light comedy, the former providing the menace. Such is the chemistry between the two ‘villains’ that the film almost suffers when they aren’t on screen together. Herriman is such a fun presence in the film that you almost can’t wait to see him again. He has managed to lift what could’ve developed into a goofy sidekick role into a space that paints Reg not only as a pretty good (if not terribly misguided) bloke but a gentle soul… that clearly has some issues. That is not to say the Anna McGahan who plays Sophie, Oliver Ackland (James) or Jamie Kristian (Wesley) aren’t as good, it is just that they don’t carry the same chemistry - well McGahan and Herriman do, their scenes are very cute. Ackland (Wasted On The Young) and Kristian (Devil’s Gate) play very unlikable chaps with Wesley being particularly annoying playing a well-travelled but arrogant dick. You wonder why Sophie, a straight up hottie would be hanging out with these two.
The direction is good, with some inventive angles (without venturing into experimental or art-house style) but it is mostly kept simple – acid trips asides! Cameron and Colin Cairnes, who both wrote the film, manage keep the film flowing along nicely, albeit with maybe one or two slight diversions. The tracking shots were really good, especially considering what the budget would have been on this film. The writing in the film is sharp, with splashes that make it unapologetically Australian, which is great to see.
‘100 Bloody Acres’ is great fun. Not only have the Cairnes brothers created a great entry into the horror/comedy genre but they have done it without it seeming like it was forced or contrived. Big on comedy and carnage, this film deserves to be a success.
Follow Ryan on Twitter: @TigersMS78