Wake in Fright (1971)
Average Rating: 8.6/10
Reviews Counted: 42
Fresh: 42 | Rotten: 0
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Average Rating: 9/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 2,165
Awe-inspiring, brutal and stunning, Wake in Fright is the story of John Grant, a bonded teacher who arrives in the rough outback mining town of Bundanyabba, planning to stay overnight before catching the plane to Sydney. But, as his one night stretches to five, he plunges headlong toward his own destruction. When the alcohol-induced mist lifts, the educated John Grant is no more. Instead there is a self-loathing man in a desolate wasteland, dirty, red-eyed, sitting against a tree and looking at
Oct 5, 2012 Limited
Jan 15, 2013
Drafthouse Films - Official Site
Slim de Grey
Joe the Cook
Mark "Jacko" Jackson
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Wake in Fright is essential viewing for anyone interested in the roots of male violence.
A Conradian parable of a man succumbing to the wild, the film is remarkable for its raw, pointed dithe suggests, and you'll find the beast concealed behind the mask of propriety.
Brilliantly directed by Kotcheff, the film has the disorienting and menacing quality of Joseph Losey films such as Accident and The Servant.
It presents a world in which refusing a pint has violent consequences, high spirits quickly curdle, and an unspoken homoerotic undertow gets ever more disturbing.
Forms a neatly symmetrical, perfectly Kafkaesque narrative. This way madness lies . . .
derives its brand of feral menace not from monsters, masked killers, or any of the other avatars of conventional horror, but rather from a sober-eyed perspective on a society reeling under the malign influence of its own basest impulses.
There is queasy undercurrent of sentimental kindness and indulgence beneath the violence.
Perhaps slightly schematic in charting the descent of man, but it induces a sweat that's hard to wash off.
The kindness of strangers has never seemed more terrifying than in this dusty, sun-bleached masterpiece, now stunningly restored.
Throughout we feel like we are watching a real world, with the extensive use of real locations and real outback dwellers, where none of the professional actors breaks the spell.
If you have any interest whatsoever in discovering the true classics of Australian cinema, there are far worse places you could start than with Wake in Fright.
Like the majestic camera movement with which it opens, Wake In Fright is a film that travels in slow, inexorable circles, presenting its paranoid nightmare of entrapment as Kafka down under.
The movie is a combination of existential horror story (a man winds up in a small-town hell and can't leave) and an examination of male violence and the ease with which men can fall into it.
This tale of sun-baked savagery has lost little of its audacity or ferocity while it languished unseen.
The raw, sweaty 1971 film is not a pretty portrayal of life in the outback, where men are crude, hard-drinking mates with no ambition beyond rough-house fun...
Brutal, but in a deceptively causal manner, Wake in Fright submits one the sharpest depictions of Outback life I've come into contact with, imagining the vast land as a sun-baked prison from which there is no escape.
A movie that shows us plenty of unsettling stuff but also knows that what viewers imagine is much more disturbing than what any movie can show.
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