Hounds of Love
Directed by Ben Young
Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors she quickly realises she must drive a wedge between them if she is to survive.
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★★★½ review by Joe on Letterboxd
It turns out the real Hound of Love,
★★★½ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd
I was questioning the meaning of
this movie's very existence, from
a moral standpoint, for almost the
entirety of its runtime, but that final
scene made me burst into a puddle
of my own tears, so, I don't know.
★★★★½ review by Troy L on Letterboxd
*Warning* for all you animal lovers out there. They do have a big animal cruelty scene that is disturbing. Just wanted to warn you about that...
When I was watching this it felt so believable. From scene to scene it kept getting more intense and I wondered what was going to happen next but every time I guessed it I was wrong. It was so unpredictable. This is definitely a disturbing film so watch at your own risk
★★★★ review by Nexkez6 on Letterboxd
”Lets make the most of her. Together.”
Set in Perth, Western Australia during the late 80’s and partially based on true crime events from the period, writer/director Ben Young for his debut feature here brings a stylised approach to his tale of teenage schoolgirl Vicky (Ashleigh Cummings) who is abducted and held captive for the sick and twisted pleasure of murderous couple John (Stephen Curry) and Evelyn White (Emma Booth).
Torture and murder may be a relatively common thread in many a horror film and while one of it’s lead protagonists here revels in that, it is fortunately not something that the film allows the viewer to take any pleasure in, the camera withdrawing to a space in the distance or the blank images of closed doors or boarded up window, harrowing sounds fill the air and our imagination does more damage to our minds. The slo-mo crawls through the heat scorched but mildly pleasant urban setting superbly captures the regular environment in which the bungalow of horrors stands.
Yes the movie is beautifully filmed but what also helps set this apart are some fantastic performances. Having a tough time through her parents separation and school, Vicky is well portrayed by Ashleigh, suffering at the hands of the perverse, manipulative and domineering John, a memorable display of evil from Curry, yet through Evelyn she is able to sow seeds of doubt as to the nature of the relationship of the killer couple and it is through Evelyn that films greatness shows with an absolutely stunning performance by Emma Booth, able to run through a range of emotions in seconds from calm, confident, sorrowful and hurt to full on rage and utterly convincing in all of them.
Scars physically and emotionally shown, hell within a brown box, a coded letter, some cash in the Christmas cards, a shallow grave in the wilderness, an awesome music score and a little added Atmosphere. A rightly tough and uncomfortable watch that may well stay with you a while, it will for me. Recommended.
★★★½ review by 𝕸𝖆𝖗𝖎𝖆𝖓𝖓𝖆 𝕹𝖊𝖆𝖑 on Letterboxd
A very impressive and brutal feature film debut from Ben Young! Heavily inspired by David and Catherine Birnie, this film will leave you in desperate need of a shower. It's a dirty, nasty experience that I can't really say I enjoyed, and would never want to watch again.
Though it's undoubtedly impressive from the filmmaking standpoint, I was left with a question: why this? What was the point of showing this? It's not the fun kind of horror/thriller, it's not really a film that has layers beyond the storyline and characters, and it doesn't seem to have anything to say beyond its brutality.
If someone tells you they actually loved and enjoyed this movie—RUN.
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