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An intense look at Australia's most infamous murders.
The first film to cover the horrific 'bodies in the barrels' murders, SNOWTOWN has been eagerly awaited by many fascinated Australian's; all assuming the movie would glorify the events which took place in South Australia.
Snowtown premiered, fittingly, at the Adelaide Bigpond Film Festival in Australia to much applause and approval from the audience. Several documentaries on the murders, majority of which took place in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, were very over the top. There was a lot of worry about the movie being just as graphic and violent.
Raw, confronting, and chilling in content, the movie did not cover all the murders. Many know that John Bunting and Robert Wagner would have the victims record messages for family before being killed, which was referred to as 'voices from the dead'. Instead of portraying most of the murders, the movie would just echo the recordings of the victims.
Another surprise of the movie, was the lead character being Jamie Vlassakis; who would eventually accomplice Bunting and Wagner in the murders. Even myself would have thought the movie would focus more on John Bunting.
The movie began showing the raw and impoverished lifestyle Jamie shared with his younger brothers and sick mother Elizabeth Harvey in the Adelaide northern suburbs. When a neighbour 'looks after' Elizabeth's sons, along comes John to watch over the family and begin his relationship with Elizabeth.
Jamie and John connect immediately, with Jamie taking a liking to John and the relationship he has with the family.
Unbeknownst to Jamie, John and his friends are on a killing spree, targeting homosexuals and pedophiles.
Until John shows Jamie the body of his friend Gavin, Jamie becomes reluctantly involved; taking part in the murder of Jamie's half-brother Troy, who earlier in the movie raped Jamie.
One of the only flaws this movie had were the two murder scenes portrayed. Most of the violence was off-screen, but saying this, the movie was made tastefully and is respectful to the victims families and friends, not going into too much details on the murders.
Justin Kurzel did a terrific job directing the well casted unknown actors, and was able to create a very raw, unsettling and draining atmosphere without focusing too much on the murders, but focusing more on the relationship between Jamie and John.
The real highlight of the movie was Daniel Henshall's portrayal of John Bunting. Henshall was able to bring much dark and light to the character, which made his performance as Bunting very believable and the film much more powerful.
Snowtown is definitely worth a watch, but if going to watch with little knowledge of the background of the murders, I would recommend reading up on what happened otherwise the movie may be hard to follow.