Friday, March 9, 2018
HOUNDS OF LOVE (2016)
Written & Directed By: Ben Young
Cinematography By: Michael McDermot
Editor: Merlin Cornish
Cast: Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, Stephen Curry, Susie Porter, Harrison Gilbertstone, Damian De Montemas
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.
This movie proves to be a dog eat dog universe. As though it is an intimate story. The world it inhabits seems to offer little room for innocence or mercy.
Once again an Australian film that is based on a true crime shines through.
Thankfully the film isn’t as vicious as one would think. It’s not as graphic as a film like SNOWTOWN that was similarly based on true events, but this film is certainly disturbing. Similarly set in the 1980’s
Luckily the film chooses to deal more with the aftermath of certain depravities rather than choosing to be too graphic and show them.
The film is certainly stylish which it doesn’t do to distract but more to immerse yourself into the world of the criminals and of this suburb. The camera lingers and has many tracking shots that barely break to make you focus and pay attention to everything that is going on and happening. Also to make you look longer then is comfortable.
Instead of focusing on the more sadistic killer or the victim. The film chooses to focus more on his accomplice his girlfriend and her psychology of wanting to make him happy and going along with his crimes. That turn him on, though she only seems to do not for him. She doesn’t seem to enjoy it necessarily except that they do it together and he gives her attention as he depends on her. Even though she is in basically an abusive relationship with him and she realizes he is more attracted tot hear younger girls who are heir victims then her and has to use them to have sex with her. She might get a joy from seeing them perish as someone would be happy once a competitor is out of their way. Though with this latest victim she is getting to the end of her rope.
As she has had her children taken away before. It is reminding her of the children she has lost.
It shows the strength of the performance that you even feel a bit of sympathy for her character. As out of the two she is the one who knows how wrong and sick this might be, but she does it for him and for him he is a predator so this comes natural and seems to be the only way he can get off.
The film also shows how powerless the serial killer is in life as he is a master tormentor in his domain and having power over powerless teenage girls, but cowers in fear from a neighbor who is adement about him repaying money he owes.
The film is quite affective in an uncomfortable way. As it isn’t graphic physically but it’s suggestions puts certain visions or at least ideas in your head that are scary and graphic themselves. That you feel increasingly uncomfortable with.
What is also heart wrenching other than watching the victims various attempts at escape that seem to be thwarted at the last second. Is watching her family in particular her mother who knows and suspects her daughter was abducted and not just a runaway. Her emotional journey as she never gives up hope and seems to be the only one truly looking for her.
This film could have easily ventured into torture porn, but instead focuses on the more emotional turmoil and nightmares of the situation. While also humanizing the sadistic captors. Though he is played more as a sadist who only seems to have strength over women but whimpers when it comes to men. Emma Booth portrayal verges from innocent victim to sadist but always human as you can see a reasoning for her decisions which then makes her the more scary and dangerous.