Killing Ground (2017)
Critic Consensus: Killing Ground unnerves and compels in equal measure with a grimly intense story that may be too disturbing for some but delivers a white-knuckle experience for fans of brutally realistic thrillers.
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Critic Reviews for Killing Ground
Made with the basest of intentions and aimed at the lowest form of humanity there is, let this be the first and last feature from Damien Power.
Once the novelty of the film's non-linear plot wears off, Killing Ground is mercilessly rote.
These personality-free characters fade from your mind even as you're watching the screen, making the brutality waged against them akin to animated mutilation of cartoon creatures.
Continuing the tradition of brutal Australian horror films like "Wolf Creek," "Killing Ground" is an effective indie creeper that unnerves the audience with its all-too-realistic violence.
Your potential enjoyment of-or repulsion for-Killing Ground comes down to what you want to experience in a horror movie.
Audience Reviews for Killing Ground
Interesting that, given that I also watched The Eyes of My Mother yesterday, we're sticking with a film that might share some similarities with the aforementioned. Now, of course, in terms of style, this is completely different than Eyes, as Eyes is a more artfully made horror movie. It's a believable enough horror movie, but an artfully made one nonetheless and that, to me, might limit its appeal to a lot of people looking for a little something more straightforward from their horror. It's not an easy film to watch, that's for sure, but I really enjoyed it regardless. This movie, however, is far more straightforward and it doesn't really beat about the bush. But, to me, the similarities between the two come in the fact that there's something believable and realistic about this scenario. And that's something that, to me, Australian films have succeeded at throughout the years, at least in terms of horror. From what I've seen, and there's obvious exceptions to this, Australian films find a way to be as brutal, unflinching and, quite frankly, ugly about its violence as humanly possible. The Snowtown Murders has this incredibly brutal death scene and, again, they pull no punches. While this movie doesn't have that one brutal death scene, it is still very much unflinching and brutal. It's almost matter-of-factly. Like it's just something that happens, it can't be avoided, so you should probably move on, or at least that's how I feel the villains justify these acts to themselves. And I do believe that that adds a lot to the tone that the movie is trying. This is just in general, not necessarily saying it just about this flick. I've always found Australia to be lovely and I've wanted to go there for quite some time now but, and I guess you could say this about any country you're in for the first time, it's not the place I would want to get lost in. The reason I say this is that, it seems, like everything in Australia can kill you. Perhaps that's a really negative stereotype, but it just seems that everything is bigger in Australia. The outback also terrifies the fuck out of me. Like imagine getting stuck out there. That's some messed up shit if you really start to think about it. I suppose that's neither here nor there. Anyway, let's move on, shall we? Long story short, I thought that this added up to a good movie. Part of me, though, wishes that the movie would have found a cleverer way to keep playing with the timelines for longer than it did. This couple goes camping at this remote 'beach' for New Year's. There seems to be someone else there, as they see a fairly sizable tent a short distance away from where they set up. For the first part of the movie, they jump back and forth between this couple and this family, the one with the sizable tent, and the way it plays out, it just comes across as if they just haven't met up for one reason or another. Of course, however, it is later revealed that the newly engaged couple arrived a few days afterwards this family was, surprise surprise, murdered by these two men, Germ and Chook. The family was never there all along and, obviously, Ian and Samantha didn't find out until much later. Chook, after being told by Germ that there was a new couple headed to the same location, decides to 'go hunting', which is what brings us to the 'modern' timeline of the movie. I will give the movie points, while they do muddy things up a bit with how it plays with its timelines, it's still a very focused story. It's very much about Chook and Germ terrorizing this family and, later, this newlywed couple for, essentially, no real reason, just because they decided to do it. And, to me, that's more chilling than anything else because, again, there's something believable about that because it has actually happened. Not that I'm condoning killing WITH motives, but I just think it's a little more nihilistic, at least in terms of this movie, when Chook and Germ do what they do just for the hell of it. There's no reason, they just want to have some morbid fun at the expense of the lives of innocent people. With that said, and I don't know why, but I felt that there was just something missing from this movie. It's solidly made, well-acted and I do find the climax to be satisfying in that it pays off everything the movie has built up, but I never felt that this was anything more than just a good movie. Maybe I've become so desensitized to horror that this just didn't resonate with me as much as it probably should have. The violence is definitely very disturbing and, as I said, unflinching, but I've seen movies where this was executed better. I wasn't more disgusted with the evil human beings can inflict on one another than I was prior to the movie. It's around the same level as it was before. And I get that that might not be the point of the movie, but it's still worth pointing out. It's sad when I'm like 'yea, I've seen more fucked up movies, this doesn't do it for me as other more fucked up movies'. I feel like I should never have to think that. Regardless, that's not to say that I didn't like this movie, just that I didn't love it. Like I said, I do think the fact that the movie is not told in chronological order ends up hurting it more than it helps. I just feel that the movie cuts its nose off to spite its face. It wants to do something different, but that something different ends up undercutting the tension they're trying to build up. Just when the film is about to pick up, they jump backwards (or forwards) to a different timeline. I'm certain that the movie was constructed this way from the ground up, but it still ends up suffering for it. There's nothing about this that feels new or fresh in any sort of meaningful way. I mean it doesn't have to be, I'm just pointing it out for the sake of posterity. I don't really know what else to say about this movie, it's certainly a good movie, but that's about it. It doesn't really push the genre forward in any way, I've seen similar movies that were far more tense and the approach to the story ends up hurting more than it helps. I'd still recommend it if you want something that's quick to watch. Certainly good, but I felt that it should have been much better.
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