[DeadHeadRooviews] – Straight from the Land of Oz: One Dozen Australian Horror/Thrillers to Watch Right Now [Part One]

All of the movies on this list have been filmed or set in Australia, feature an Australian cast, or were produced/backed by Australian companies. This list is presented in no particular order and no preference as to “best” or “worst.”  Each of these fine Aussie flicks is worth watching for their own enjoyable reasons. Most are available for streaming via Shudder, Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu, or by renting through the regular Amazon platform.

Boar, 2019, Directed by Chris Sun

A campy creature feature, starring a gigantic mutated feral hog who roams the Australian outback, terrorizing happy couples and local families on holiday (Don’t worry our antagonist did not bring along 30-50 of his friends, he’s flying solo!). 10/10 on cornball dramatic animatronic/puppet and CGI Boar action!  Bonus points for the big, sturdy muscle man who gets into a stand off with the feral hog; that scene is a glorious bit of comedic violence. Big love also to the two half-drunk old dudes who keep shouting about Real Big Pigs to an unwilling audience. Boar is a ridiculous treat which has all the extreme blood, guts, and gore you could ever want.

Wyrmwood, 2014, Directed by Kiah Roache-Turner

Movie poster for Wyrmwood featuring one of the main characters holding a smoking gun and positioned above a group of zombies in a stylized portrait

A very bizarre, rather silly but very enjoyable action-horror flick. This ridiculous movie combines the best parts of Mad Max and 28 Days Later and a dash of Taken. Follow along as Barry the mechanic attempts to save his sister from a band of roving lunatics and battles zombies along the way. Low-budget gorefest set in the Australian Outback.

The Babadook 2014, Directed by Jennifer Kent

movie poster for The Babadook in black and white finish; features mother and son seated facing one another in a clawfoot white bathtub with an ominous hulking babadook shadow in the background

This chilling and dark psychological horror-thriller follows a single mother trying to regain her footing and stability after the death of her husband. Grief, depression, and loss are not the only horrors in life this small family must face.  Both mother and son begin to unravel after a very mysterious and unsettling children’s pop-up book appears in their home.  This movie is emotional, heavy on aesthetics, and great on atmosphere.  It will stick with you long after the credits roll, too.

The Furies, 2018, Directed by Tony D’Aquino

movie poster for the furies featuring the australian outback with the main female character left justified in frame holding a bloody axe with blood on her shoulder and dirt on her face

This one is a bizarre low-budget take on Hunger Games meets Saw, and a little Halloween.  A woman and her best friend are kidnapped, and she wakes up in a mysterious coffin in the middle of the woods all alone. She must learn to fend for herself and overcome her anxieties if she is to survive this strange, terrifying game of cat-and-mouse and beauty versus beast.  This is a female-driven storyline with plenty of over-the-top brutal maimings and killings.  The ending leaves plenty of room for sequels and spinoffs.

The Ruins, 2008, Directed by Carter Smith

poster for the ruins with an arm made of vines and a hand reaching out from the vine-arm into an ominous stormy sky with grunge effects applied to the photo

A film adaptation of Scott Smith’s novel of the same name; Smith also wrote the screenplay.  The story of 4 Americans on vacation in Mayan Ruins of Mexico.  The Americans meet two German tourists searching for a missing friend as they explore an archaeological site.  Terrors of the jungle await as “nature finds a way” to restore order to these sacred sites.  Not a stellar film by any means, but it’s a solid B-Movie with plenty of gross, gory action.

Picnic at Hanging Rock, 1975, Directed by Peter Weir

movie poster for picnic at hanging rock in dreamy sepia toned hues featuring a girl with wind in her hair and the photograph is shot from below and she's peeking over a rock face

A film adaptation of the acclaimed Australian novel by the same title.  (Not the miniseries by Amazon.)  It’s mysterious, sensual, unsettling, and unnerving.  Victorian schoolgirls and their chaperone adventure outside the walls of their boarding school, and disappear under very mysterious circumstances.  Shot in a dreamy, hazy aesthetic created by using lace, gauze, and bridal veils, which only adds to the air of repressed Victorian sexuality and homoerotic tension.

By Ellen Avigliano
Twitter: @imaginariumcs

Some of these movies were streamed during my free 30-day trial of Shudder. Other films are available through paid subscription streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Promotional image for DeadHeadROOViews week for alan baxter australian week promo
Red Kangaroo, Australia

Published by Dead Head Reviews

Dead Head Reviews is a platform that promotes authors, publishers, film makers, and just about anyone you can think of in the horror community. They mainly focus on the book industry, but if something is horror-related, they want to get their hands on it.

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