Director – Damien Power (Bat Eyes, A Burning Thing)
Starring – Harriet Dyer (The Other Guy, Black Comedy), Aaron Pedersen (Mystery Road: The Series, The Fear of Darkness), Ian Meadows (Dead Lucky, Scare Campaign)
Release Date – 2016
Rating – 4/5
The IFC Midnight and Scream Factory pairings have been some quality films. Most of the films I’ve seen released from this team up have been fantastic. The films may not always be good and bloody but they offer up some solid stories and some great atmosphere and tension that we really don’t see anymore. I recently watched Darkness Rising and was let down when the story, which had potential, fails to gain momentum.
I wanted to take a break from horror for a few days because of the massive let down I had just suffered but I didn’t. The next film on the chopping block was yet another IFC Midnight and Scream Factory release. Killing Ground is a 2017 Australian horror thriller that has made a name for itself after its release. I hoped it was better than Darkness Rising. Thank you Scream Factory for sending this one my way!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a young couple who go out into the Australian wilderness for a little camping. When they arrive they find another car and a camp near theirs. After a few days they fail to show up so they go looking for them when they come across a toddler unconscious in the woods. They grab the child and make sure he is alright before heading back to their car where they are met by a man who states he had spoke with his family just a few nights prior.
He offers to help them look for them while she stays to tend to the child. While they are away another man arrives and attacks her while trying to snatch the boy. She is able to slice his wrist and he runs through the woods while the two men come across a group of bodies. It is then they he realizes the man is a killer and plans on doing the same to them. Now he must fight to survive while protecting his wife.**Spoiler Alert**
Killing Ground is one I didn’t know much about. I really liked the simplicity of the poster but I was not expecting a film with the emotional bite that this one had.
The acting in this one is fantastic. The film has an amazing cast that works extremely well together to create some very intense scenes. I was really impressed with Aaron Pedersen and Aaron Glenane as the film’s killers. They literally sent chills down my spine with their lack of restraint and complete disregard for human life. As a parent I wanted to hate them which is the highest compliment I can give to an actor playing a villain.
The story for this one is nothing new especially when you consider the location. Wolf Creek is one of Australia’s most popular horror films and its hard to see a film from here and not notice similarities between the two. The two films do follow similar stories with people trying to enjoy a getaway but are terrorized by a psychopath woodsman that knows the area and can survive off the land. Both films borrow from the same storyline but Killing Ground tugs on the heart strings of this old dad. This film rivals I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday with hitting me on an emotional level.
Finally, the film isn’t as bloody as you would expect but the kills we do get wreak havoc on your. The kills don’t use blood and gore to get a reaction out of the viewer. Instead, it works you over psychologically. The kills are well thought out and work very well with the film. Overall, Killing Ground is a fucking kick to the nuts before ripping your heart out. If you are a parent you may want to drink a little of the cooking sherry before tossing it in.