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The Snowtown Murders (2011)
"Snowtown" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  19 May 2011 (Australia)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 11,370 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 96 user | 154 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

Based on true events, 16 year-old Jamie falls in with his mother's new boyfriend and his crowd of self-appointed neighborhood watchmen, a relationship that leads to a spree of torture and murder.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bob Adriaens ...
Gavin
Louise Harris ...
Elizabeth Harvey
Frank Cwiertniak ...
Jeffrey
Matthew Howard ...
Nicholas
Marcus Howard ...
Alex
Anthony Groves ...
Troy
...
Barry
Aaron Viergever ...
Robert
Denis Davey ...
Guitar Player
Allan Chapple ...
Prayer Reader
Beau Gosling ...
David
Brendan Rock ...
Marcus
Bryan Sellars ...
Minister
...
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Storyline

Sixteen-year-old Jamie lives with his mother, Elizabeth, and two younger brothers, Alex and Nicholas, in a housing trust home in Adelaide's northern suburbs. Their home is but one of many sun-starved houses crammed together to cater for a disenfranchised society. Jamie longs for an escape from the violence and hopelessness that surrounds him and his salvation arrives in the form of John, a charismatic man who unexpectedly comes to his aid. As John spends more and more time with Jamie's family, Elizabeth and her boys begin to experience a stability and sense of family that they have never known. John moves from the role of Jamie's protector to that of a mentor, indoctrinating Jamie into his world, a world brimming with bigotry, righteousness and malice. Like a son mimicking his father, Jamie soon begins to take on some of John's traits and beliefs as he spends more and more time with him and his select group of friends. The protection and guidance that John presents to Jamie is ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the shocking true story


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 May 2011 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

The Snowtown Murders  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,273 (USA) (2 March 2012)

Gross:

$8,012 (USA) (16 March 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Daniel Henshall (John) lived in the Snowtown area for 6 weeks in a hotel, and got to know the locals to help develop his character. See more »

Quotes

John Bunting: It's not fuckin' mean if you kick the shit out of some diseased prick. He fuckin' deserves it. It's an Australian fuckin' tradition, anyway. Eh?
[chuckles]
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2011 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

What a Friend We Have in Jesus
(uncredited)
Music by Charles Crozat Converse
Lyrics by Joseph M. Scriven
Performed by Church Congregation
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bleak, grim, realistic and brilliant Australian movie
20 February 2012 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

I didn't quite know what to expect when I put this DVD into my player, but it certainly wasn't this. Snowtown was so much better than what I hoped for, and it left me with a satisfaction which only some movies manage to do for me. Of course I knew on forehand that it was a movie about serial killings, but it got well above all those cliché SK movies that have begotten so common.

For starters, Snowtown feels very realistic. We don't get to see the story from the perspective or main focus of the main serial killer, but we see the world through the eyes of the son of the family - soon to be dominated by John. John initially comes over as a charming guy who likes to be the Knight in Shining Armour against pedophiles, but it doesn't take long before we know that his ideas are obsessions which go from 'let's teach the guy a lesson' to an excuse for executing his sick fantasies. Jamie, our protagonist, initially likes John's charms but soon finds himself in a very vulnerable, confusing and dangerous position. One can not help but feel sorry for the lad.

The movie takes place in a realistic setting in a poor part of town, which is made even more depressed by the bleak colors of the movie. There is no Yellow Brick Road in this Land of Oz. Though the story may initially be confusing, and some reviewers advice to read up on the case (Snowtown Murders, Bodies in the Barrels), it's certainly watchable without that information. However; I do agree that it's the best if you dó read up about it, no matter if it is before or after you have seen this movie. Bits of the puzzle will fall into place and it makes the movie even better, because of the authenticity of what happened.

There are a few very violent scenes in Snowtown, so it's not for those with a weak stomach, but most is kept to your imagination. It's a psychological thriller that focuses on what happens with Jamie. So do not expect to get a full story about John Bunting's life. Snowtown is a story without a real beginning and without a real end. Still; it doesn't need any, it is just perfect the way it is.

The acting is convincing and natural, Daniel Henshall gives a chilling performance of Bunting going from reasonably charming to a total sick creep. Lucas Pittaway is well cast for the role of Jamie, and he does remarkably well in making the audience believe how the lights fade out in Jamie's eyes throughout his nightmarish experiences, going from adolescently bored to traumatized numb.

I gave Snowtown a 9 instead of a 10 (though I would rather have given it a 98 out of 100) for the parts which are a bit confusing, especially the beginning is a part you really sort of have to sit through. But be patient; once it's at speed, and you let go your expectations but simply experience it, Snowtown drags you in and will not easily let you go. I watched it about one and a half week ago and it's still fresh in my head. It's a movie that grows on you, even after you have finished watching it.

Well done, very well done indeed, Mr Justin Kurzel! This is exactly how I like my movies. I do hope to see some more of you.


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