The Snowtown Murders - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Snowtown Murders Reviews

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½ November 20, 2016
hmm i did not like this; it's eye opening because it's a true story... but as far as movie-wise, i have to agree with some other reviews i read -- it's slow & sometimes all the yelling/talking gave me a headache.
October 22, 2016
the vibe was like "animal kingdom," a flick i really enjoyed. it's hazy and gritty and emotional and tough to watch sometimes. it was also very difficult to follow. it took a fair amount of reading after the fact (and during the fact) to figure out who was who and why they were doing what they were doing. ultimately, the finer details didn't really matter that much since the outcome was the same-we were witnessing murders being committed.

so yeah, if it was told in a more straightforward way instead of relying on tons of implied clues via very rapid dialogue, it'd be a masterpiece. i read that the filmmakers assumed you had a basic knowledge of the case, which makes sense, but doesn't help a ton in my case when i wanna go in with zero knowledge and be shocked. good film though, no denying that.
½ October 2, 2016
From the opening scene the movie caught my eye with the very aesthetic of the filmography. The grainy filter and the very grim tone automatically drew me in and quite easily set the mood for the entire movie. But this movie doesn't just appeal to your eyes, it appeals to your emotions and opens up feelings inside of you that you might not know you even had. The Snowtown Murders will kill a part of you, whether it's your innocence or your peace of mind, almost as easily as John Bunting takes down pedophiles and homosexuals throughout the movies entirety.
Though some scenes were (very) hard to stomach, I also found it difficult to take my eyes off the screen. So much of me longed to know what was going to happen next, no matter how unnerving the scenes became. Not knowing if a gun was going to be fired, all the way to hearing the sickening tear of a man's toenail being ripped off as he's being tortured in a bathroom. These scenes drove the plot forward, doing exactly what they were made to do; depict the real life murder scenes in order to generate shock, discomfort, and stir up intense emotions deep inside of viewers.
Now, as I didn't long for more gruesome scenes, I was left wishing there had been more character development. There were no straightforward insights as to what is going on inside any of the character's heads, rather we are left to rely on subtext to answer our questions. I found myself wanting to know what was going on inside Jamie's head on a consistent basis. I spent the entire movie feeling a variety of emotions towards him. One can't help but feel bad for the boy who is manipulated into killing by his newfound "father-figure" after being sexually exploited by his mother's old boyfriend and later raped by his own brother, and you want to comfort him, yet run away at the same time.
This movie won't get your adrenaline pumping with jump scares every few seconds, but it will leave you feeling uneasy with a chill down your spine. It will leave you wanting more, but also wanting so much less at the same time. One thing that I know for certain after watching this is that the very profound thought that monsters are real and are among us every day of our lives disguised as normal people, is very real.
½ August 9, 2016
A real life horror story that becomes increasingly difficult to watch with every scene, but somehow steers clear of exploitation while still having the courage to take unnerving risks.
August 6, 2016
The theme is quite disturbing the screenplay is very powerful and the acting is very efficient .A must watch
½ July 23, 2016
Worst thing I've ever seen in my life. Absolutely horrifying.
July 16, 2016
Slow paced... Kinda all over the place, but it's a true story and I give it credit for that
June 24, 2016
This is not a very good movie. Horrible character development (especially since they are based on real people and true events. John Bunting's own history is very important to understanding his motives, but it isn't even mentioned once during this film. The relationships between these characters were much more intricate in real life than indicated in the movie. The only saving grace were the actors who played these characters. The movie is very slow with unnecessary scenes that do not at all advance the story. The shaky camera work induced headaches and the unwarranted close-ups and out-of-focus shots were very distracting. There were other times when some action was taking place off screen, but the camera focused on something a lot less interesting, like an empty chair. It's obviously an an artistic film, but the story could have been told in a much more interesting style.
May 10, 2016
It's not the classical horror movie. A must
See.
March 26, 2016
This is one of the worst movies that I have seen, Is not as great as some people are saying. The story was very boring and even I was falling asleep. I don't know how this movie had so many good rating from film critics, this is definitely boring. So for this being a waste of time and nothing developed during the whole movie, I give " The Snowtown Murders " an F.
March 8, 2016
it's a bleak, brutal, dark, powerful and disturbing look into manipulation and a look into the mind of a psychopath. it's a rough watch to sit through, but it's rewarding for those who do.
½ February 15, 2016
Really good for a first feature, though the oppressively ultra-grim tone (and Pittaway's miserable face, which varies between "about to cry" and "crying" for most of the second half) started to wear me down after a while, and in the third act was verging on self-parody. Par for the course with Australian dramas though, and it's never bad. But if Kurzel can learn to vary his tone while also telling a compelling story he could be one of the greats.
January 12, 2016
I loved how Australian the look and sound of this movie was. Made me very proud in a way. I was often shocked at the direction the movie went and at time couldn't look at the screen. Quite anti climatic. Just as the movie is about to hit a good point it just ENDS.
November 28, 2015
Jed Kurtzel's score is one of the most impressive I've heard this decade
½ October 2, 2015
For all intents and purposes, this is a well made movie. It does just what it's supposed to do - it stirs up all kinds of emotions and shocks to the core. For example, I had a bloody difficult time watching the thing to the end without taking a few `breathers` from all the heaviness intertwined in every pore of the movie. This is a sickening, extremely unpleasant, gray piece of cinematography designed to leave you in sweating horror from the thought that the monster(s) are quite real, among us and tend to drench the piece of Earth they inhabit in black, horrific veil of terror. This is by far the worst movie I've seen so far and I've read all the warnings about its gruesomeness beforehand and decided they don't apply to me. `What could be THAT bad? No way it could shock me! I watch horror movies like nobody's business!`. The fact is - probably everyone ever to watch this difficult movie about an Australian serial killer John Bunting will have a massively difficult time sinking their teeth into this grayness. There is no sunshine coming afterwards, there is no catharsis, no superheroes...there are no better times ahead for its protagonists. There is nothing, not a hint of something, not a hint of light. Just a massive swell of nothingness, heaviness nesting right there on your chest long after you've watched it. And when the years have passed, the only thing I will remember is that blackness I felt afterwards. I won't remember it's tormented characters, demonic John Bunting, psychological tortures people/kids endured, animal cruelty, paedophilia, grey Australian small town poverty, alcohol....
September 28, 2015
"The film is a chilling study of an evil, dominant personality and his victims." - Ebert
September 22, 2015
Great non-professional actors giving a feel of authenticity. So much more disturbing fthan a bunch of tooth-pick American models. Not for the faint-hearted.
August 29, 2015
This film seems to get quite a lot of flack from audiences as being uncomfortably brutal, but I find it is no less and no more brutal than the real-life events the film depicts. The Snowtown spree stands as one of the most prolific serial killing events in Australia, and it's of my opinion that this film does the true story quite a bit of justice. Following an extremely manipulative, malevolent antagonists actions and effects on the family in which he situates himself, and his subsequent abuse and deviance towards the eldest son of the family.

I would not typically judge a film based on its brutality alone. The purpose of brutality is where the true worth lies, and in the case of gore-porn, it's often only there to live up to that title. In the case of this film, it is there to drive home the stark reality of what happened in Snowtown and how infections and dangerous group-mentality can become.

The film is not a fast one, so only watch this if you are in the mood for a heavy, dark movie that is less adrenaline-pumping and more blood-chilling. Good watch, excellent soundtrack, and I'd give it an 8/10.
½ August 11, 2015
It's the uncommonly powerful sense of realism which permeates the film that makes it so unforgettable. It's not a happy ride, it's uncompromising in its grim, grisly, nasty, wrenching subject matter. The technical aspects-- direction, cinematography, haunting score, editing, performances which don't seem like performances at all-- Snowtown is in a sense flawless. However, its telling of the true story is a bit murky and leaves a lot of questions, never once explaining much to the audience. Thus reading up on the true story before seeing the film may be crucial for some viewers. Otherwise, Snowtown is just about perfect, but you may need a few showers and happy songs to listen to after it ends, so prepare yourself before you press play.
½ June 28, 2015
So creepy because of the truths behind the crimes. Snowtown is masterfully done. Telling what lengths people with go because of social standings and tabo. It scares you into thinking even a rumor spread about you can be deadly. If there are men like this then nobody is safe. Win win all around for this film. Reality is always the scariest thing in film other than a nightmare of a true story that is.
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