Review: 100 Bloody Acres / Cert: 15 / Director: Cameron Cairnes, Colin Cairnes / Screenplay: Cameron Cairnes, Colin Cairnes / Starring: Damon Herriman, Angus Sampson, Anna McGahan, Jamie Kristian / Release Date: October 11th (Frightfest London preview: August 23rd)
There's always been something special about Australian horror films; they are generally naturalistic yet offbeat and have a streak of black humour running through them. The brothers Cairnes' 100 Bloody Acres carries this on tradition with ease.
The Morgan brothers, Reg (Herriman) and Lindsay (Sampson) run an organic fertiliser company, using road-kill and the like to create the best blend of blood and bone to enrich the local farmer's soil. Reg begrudgingly offers a lift to three stranded friends, who are en-route to a local music festival – with Sophia (McGahan) up front, her boyfriend James (Ackland), and their acid-dropping friend (whom she is also carrying on with) Wes (Kristian) in the back with bags of fertiliser and rotting cow carcases. Oh, and the body of a festival roadie Reg happened to find in a crashed van. It seems the best ingredient for this plant food is a recently deceased human.
To reveal more would be unfair on the audience, as the film builds surely, with plenty of low-key surprises and tons of the aforementioned antipodean black humour. The joy comes not from standard tropes and genre trappings but from the characters and situations, where both the horror (and it does get gloriously gory) and comedy (there are several laugh out loud moments) develop entirely naturally. The fact that the 'bad guys' are just yokel saps looking to make ends meet with the best product they can produce instantly subverts the expectations of the audience. They are not well-equipped murderers, rather small time chancers who, by accident more than design, become involved in the killing business. Sampson sports a fabulous moustacheless beard, which is always good for a laugh, and his character Lindsay is the brains of the team, keeping his younger brother at a more subservient level, which certainly plays with the audience's allegiances.
This is the film Tucker and Dale vs Evil should have been: a fun experience from start to finish. Make sure you stick around during the end credits, too, for a wonderful coda.
Expected Rating: 6 out of 10