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Long Weekend
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Reviews & Ratings for
Long Weekend More at IMDbPro »

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24 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

the most remarkable unsettling film ever.

10/10
Author: Nicholas Dubreuil from France
24 October 2005

If you get a chance to watch this movie, just do it! That's an order!!!

The leading couple is simply excellent. The natural setting, at first enchanting, becomes more and more frightening. The atmosphere couldn't get more gruesome. Only Australian films succeed in creating so much thrills. You'll never go to the beach the way you used to. Jaws made you terrified at the idea of getting wet, Long Weekend will convince you in staying comfortably at home on holidays. What is the fun of getting lost in nature like that, anyway?

The ecological message of the script, pretty obvious, never interferes with the suspense of the story. The main characters, evidently archetypes of the modern couple, are apparently doomed from the very beginning. However, the audience gets a weird masochistic pleasure in witnessing their nightmarish destiny.

Long Weekend is an unknown masterpiece that must be seen urgently. Please do!

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23 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Don't mess with the Supernatural!

8/10
Author: kingdaevid from Phoenix, Arizona, USA
11 September 2003

...when I first saw THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, I kept thinking that I'd seen this basic idea before, and this was where it was. The basic setup is different -- this time it's a married couple who take their bickering into a camping weekend -- but the effect is identical, with supernatural forces terrorising them for daring to trespass onto the wrong territory. The suspense is a slow build, and there's even some touches that popped up in later flicks; for instance, the idea for the shot of the scorpion being run over by a truck in close-up during the opening title sequence of NATURAL BORN KILLERS was taken directly from this one. Part of the first major wave of Australian pictures that made a big splash in the States circa '79 and '80 -- among the others were GALLIPOLI, BREAKER MORANT and THE LAST WAVE -- LONG WEEKEND is, unfortunately, one of the forgotten gems of the period. If you ever see an old video of it in a shop somewhere -- anywhere -- grab it. And watch it...

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24 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

the most intelligent animal aggression film

10/10
Author: Loïc Borveau (lolo157@libertysurf.fr) from Clohars-Carnoët, France
28 May 2002

(Excuse the possible vocabulary or grammar mistakes, I am French)

The originality - and the force - of "Long week-end" is that it is an animal attack film... without animal attack. The two characters of the film commit a succession of little aggressions towards the Nature (with a great N), which will revenge herself, but never directly. Mentioning examples would reveal too much of the film. I will only say it is a real ambient movie, without action, but which distils a traumatic veiled anguish. The final is particularly perturbing and ironical. The term "unknown masterpiece" seems to be created for this film !

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18 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

An all-time favorite

Author: Justin Stokes from Cleburne, TX
2 February 2012

A bickering couple decide to spend a long weekend at a secluded beach. Once there, the disrespect they show for their surroundings leads to nature taking it's revenge on them.

This is the epitome of Australian horror. Not only is it the best horror film to come from down under, but it's one of the best horror films, period. I first discovered this film back in the late 90's and was quite blown away by it. I love the nature strikes back sub-genre, but never had I found such films to be legitimately frightening. "Long Weekend", however, really got to me. I'm happy to say that it's still just as effective to this day.

The mood, the haunting score, the atmosphere of the beach and the overall sense of nature conspiring against the characters all makes for a remarkable amount of tension. I love this film for many of the same reasons that I love "The Blair Witch Project", though there are many differences between the two as well. What's more, the animals attacks never come off as fake. A scene where an eagle comes in search of it's egg is raw and eerie. There are no fake birds on wires or men in bear suits to be found here. Our two leads aren't very likable, but that doesn't keep the film from being an unsettling experience. You have to love the ending too, which brings things full circle.

A masterpiece of mood and tension, "Long Weekend" stands the test of time.

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17 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

After continuous abuse, mother nature gets even!

8/10
Author: lost-in-limbo from the Mad Hatter's tea party.
12 April 2006

A feuding yuppie couple whose marriage is slowly falling apart set out on a camping trip along a remote Australian coastline to hopefully rekindle their love. While, the husband is all geared up for the adventure with his new equipment, his wife would prefer to be at luxurious hotel. But this trip doesn't all go to plan with their constant friction getting even worst and they seem to take their stress out on the ecosystem. This reckless discard to the environment is soon reversed when nature decides to give a little back to its selfish protagonists.

Now this is want you call a man vs. nature film! And a real merciless one too! This low-budget, under-appreciated (if forgotten) Australian gem is far from your typical excursion into horror with a melodramatic backdrop involving the couples' martial problems, but the way the insightful story folds out you can't deny that this isn't one horrifying exercise when nature finally unleashes its devastating power with such an claustrophobic strangle hold. You might think the idea in this particular sub-genre would be hokey and overall, a campy b-grade animal feature, but here that's not the case because there's nothing cheap about the story and thrills, as it goes for some old fashion spookiness and slow grinding suspense, where we are asked to think about the couples' careless actions towards nature and the environmental message. There's a little bit more going on in the film's material and visuals then you might think and it does play on your mind with it's disorientating atmosphere.

The story slowly delivers in spurts a heavy amount of unbearable suspense and startling images that have a real unnerving effect with its terribly, uncomfortable mood. The nagging couple here are very obnoxious and a long way from likable, but they aren't suppose to be! The anger towards them is justified because they're the villains of this piece and we continuously witness their lack of respect for the surroundings. What nature has in store for them is powerfully effective and we can't help but be drawn into the brooding mystery of how its going to play out.

The picturesque location for the film is simply exquisite with the sprawling beach line and flourishing vegetation and wildlife. The way it can suddenly turn aggressive and change appearance after only being peacefully luminous (such in the weather and environment) makes it incredibly eerie, as you don't know what's up coming next. What caught this development was the hypnotic cinematography (done in anamorphic widescreen) that brought the wildlife off the screen with it's incredibly spacious execution and swift movement in following the couple around and great panning that captures all the small things. It has a semi-documentary feel about it. The foreboding sound effects of the nightlife really do have a strong impact on your senses with the jerky and high-pitch sensation eating away at you with such well placed tension and strange noises that won't let you escape. Also the quiet moments, since the dialogue is rather sparse, builds up the harrowing situation they're faced with. The hauntingly, charged score by Michael Carlos is just like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode with it's imminent dread and the tight editing nicely keeps the film moving until it reaches boiling point in the third act with an ending that shocks.

The screenplay by Everett De Roche (Patrick, Road Games, Harlequin & Razorback) is an intelligent look at the relationship between the carelessness of mankind and the suffering of nature, which it does takes its time in delivering justice. The plot's focus on the couples' marriage, which is on the rocks is an good companion piece with their inconsiderable intrusion on nature where they believe their own problems are more important and think less of their surroundings. The performances are astoundingly, realistic in their interactions by John Hargraves as the arrogantly, destructive Peter (who has a better connection with his dog) and Briony Behets as selfishly, close-minded Marcia. This is one stuck up couple you like to see crash and burn, and nature provides that wish.

'Long Weekend' is an sincere, atmospheric revenge tale with a ironically dour twist. It's a very well made production that maximizes its chilling backdrop, petering tension and stimulating concept to send chills down your spine.

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

I loved this film, does anyone else?

Author: (sjpoole165@yahoo.co.uk) from Stevenston, Scotland
17 April 2004

Brilliant film, eerie and atmospheric. Stays on your mind for a long time after watching. One of my favourites. The part where the sea creature wails like a baby is especially good. The image of the eagle egg being smashed against the tree kept coming back and haunting me long after the film had finished. A lot of weird happenings in the film - what happened to the people in the other camper van? You never actually got to see them, just their vicious little dog! This is a film I could happily watch over and over without getting fed up. I would love to be able to get this video either on video or DVD but it seems it's been withdrawn. Can anyone help me get a hold of this video or DVD? I would be grateful to hear from anyone else who likes this movie too.

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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

One of those forgotten diamonds

Author: tintintin from Lelystad, The Netherlands
18 May 2003

Most of the people who visit IMDb will have some childhood memories about a movie they saw ones on television. When you'r young, most of the time you only remember the images. At the age of 35 I certainly remember The Long Weekend. Maybe it was my age... but in my memory it was spooky and had a very surprising and sudden ending. I always wondered what the title of the movie was. Thanks to the internet I know it was this one. I recently bought the DVD and watched it again. A little bit disappointing.. but I am glad I watched it again.

Rob

The Netherlands

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17 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

lost Aussie masterpiece!!!

10/10
Author: floyd-27 from australia
23 July 1999

Everyone carries on about Mad Max and Picnic at Hanging Rock when they get into Aussie movies. Though this is a forgotten treasure. Very creepy in parts, downright scary as hell in others (without using common shock tactics found throughout cinema today). Magnificent acting, magnificent score, magnificent direction and photography make this a winner of a movie that unluckily will never be seen by most people.

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13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

part soap opera, part horror film

6/10
Author: Jonny_Numb from Hellfudge, Pennsylvania
29 October 2003

"Long Weekend" is a well-done, environmentally-conscious horror film from Down Under. The plot is rather simple, but makes a point: when you snooty urban dwellers go camping for the weekend, don't do anything to p**s off Mother Nature! Which is exactly what our two selfish, unappealing protagonists do; they also have a marriage that's on the rocks (gee, I wonder if they'll make it through the weekend alive? Any takers?). The acting is good (though the characters are hateful and stupid), and the emotional intensity is complemented by a very brooding atmosphere of impending horror (the night scenes will give you the willies) as Nature gears up for revenge.

6/10

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Semi-classic mood piece about nature turning on a young couple

9/10
Author: B N from Canada
2 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Peter (John Hargreaves) and Marcia (Briony Behets) are a modern Sydney couple whose sophisticated lifestyle is ruled by dinner parties, money making and infidelity. With their marriage in near terminal decline, Peter drags his reluctant wife on a camping trip to an isolated northern beach for the long weekend, in the hope that going back to basics will somehow bring them back together. Driving through the dark and the rain, the bickering couple is soon completely lost.

The following dawn reveals a secluded paradise, but if Peter is envisaging a surf-'n'-sex idyll straight out of The Blue Lagoon, what he gets is a nightmare much closer to The Birds, or Open Water. For this savage new landscape seems to resonate with the couple's bitterest secrets, as nature imposes her own strange and implacable reality upon the trespassing city slickers.

Colin Eggleston takes the premise of nature's revenge to its most mysterious and over determined limits. On the one hand, it seems obvious that the many animal attacks in the film serve as punishments for the human characters' repeated acts of hubristic transgression, be it Peter's running over of a kangaroo, chopping down of a tree, shooting a dugong, harassing a possum, or Marcia's angry destruction of an eagle's egg. On the other hand, the bush land, in all its merciless inescapability, appears to be a metaphor for the childless marriage in which the two principals have become trapped. At the same time, it seems that Peter and Marcia are not nature's only victims and casual background references to nuclear testing and oil exploration hint at a broader ecological agenda. Amidst this superabundance of interpretative frames, there are also some moments that are genuinely beyond any kind of rationalisation, lending Long Weekend an air of eerie irresolution.

Under Eggleston's moody direction, even the most minute of sounds is over amplified to explosive volume and the voyeuristic camera-work tends to be from the ground up, as though from the point-of-view of lurking critters, so that the wilderness locations, for all their natural beauty, seem to brim with the tension of unbearable foreboding. Neither Hargreaves, nor Behets, shrink from the narcissistic unpleasantness of their characters, in what are bravely unflattering performances. Best of all is the ending, which, though shockingly abrupt, is, within the film's elaborate nexus of motifs, totally, perfectly right, only to be topped by a final, fern-laden image that is haunting enough to do the actor Andrei Tarkovsky proud.

Made in a country where outback dangers are never more than a short drive away, Long Weekend illustrates the fragile veneer of civilisation, constantly under threat from both nature and the feral heart of man. Surrender to this film's insinuating spell and see if it makes you go wild.

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