Ex-con Eddie Cleary gets a job working on his older brother's isolated farm. It's not long before bizarre things start happening--dead birds falling out of the sky, family pets attacking ... See full summary »
Ex-con Eddie Cleary gets a job working on his older brother's isolated farm. It's not long before bizarre things start happening--dead birds falling out of the sky, family pets attacking their owners, strange apparitions beginning to appear, and people who had been "normal" suddenly going insane. Written by
Eddie Cleary an ex-con has just been released from prison and ends up working for his older brother on a farm in the outback. However some weird occurrences involving flashing lights, electrical cuts and evaporating water begins to put a strain on Eddie with his brother and wife.
I can say it was unconventional, but I'm at a lost to what director Rolf de Heer (the man behind the 1993 cult 'Bad Boy Bubby') was trying to imply with this visually ambitious, but messily plotted head-trip. It's frustrating, because there was potential within its considerably off-kilter framework, but in the end the mysterious air that was established fades and the drama infectiously takes hold. The story throws around a lot of weird things (strange lights, possessions, power shorts), but nothing is truly expanded on that we're wondering if it's all hallucinations, supernatural or otherworldly interference. In the end it's kind of hinted, but not entirely fulfilling with the outcome making the eventual build-up feel pointless. There's even a sub-plot involving an opera loving police officer that goes onto to be redundant to the bigger picture and ends rather kooky. The material is uneven and a little heavy handed with the narrative moving back and forth from present time to the past (going back 5 days to eventually finish on the present day at hand). It looks like it tries for a psychological front and it doesn't always work, but it's intentions stay enthralling (with a glimpse into an unstable mind that's on the verge of insanity in an isolated backdrop, which can mess with your mind) and there's an amusing range of characters and scenarios.
Atmosphere and imagery is impressive, and the boundless Australian outback landscape demonstrates a mystifyingly haunting and hypnotic strangle hold. Richard Michalak's free-flowing camera-work is filled with provocative angles and adds to the unusually trippy nature. So does Roman Kronen & Graham Tardif's spectrally bellowing music score. The performances fair-up well enough. Steven Vidler as Eddie is ably solid. Celine Griffin, Ritchie Singer, Vince Gil, Max Cullen, Terry Camilleri and Saturday Rosenberg were tailored to their parts.
Chaotically drawn up, but remains interesting and well-made.
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