The Snowtown Murders - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Snowtown Murders Reviews

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½ March 25, 2017
Once you have the only character, and a child no less, that we might actually care about shooting a dog I'm out.
January 16, 2017
Captivating and disgusting in equal measures, this slow burner of a movie about one of Australia's most brutal serial killers is fascinating, if you have the patience and maybe stomach for it.
January 6, 2017
Snowtown, or The Snowtown Murders, is the directorial debut of Justin Kurzel, and it stars Daniel Henshall as John Bunting, the dangerous serial killer in Australia, and Lucas Pittaway in a biographical crime film about a boy who's getting abused by family and a boyfriend of his mother's, and when the mother realized what happened to the family because of the boyfriend, she got help from people where she was introduced to John Bunting, whom he despises people who abuse other people, and Jamie (Lucas Pittaway) is starting to appreciate and question John's view of some people. This has been on my Netflix for so long, that when I'm noticing the director's work with films, including Assassin's Creed, and watch the trailer for this recently, I was interested to see what it's about. Turns out I wasn't expecting the film to be the most depressing film that I've seen in years, or one of the most ever, and I actually enjoyed it very much. The acting is great that I didn't until after watching the film that almost all the actors in it never actually have acting experience, and it made it feel real. The cinematography made it feel like it was a documentary, like it was something that people shouldn't see cause it looked like something that's happening in real-life time. The characters are very memorable that with the actions they've done, make it hard to forget about them. The writing by Shaun Grant, along with some story elements from the same writer and Justin Kurzel himself, understands a lot about their moral views, and it manages to keep itself interesting despite having a slow and bleak pacing. The score by Jed Kurzel is pretty chilling to listen, especially when it does the electronic music which is rare to hear that type of music be creepy. This movie is not for anyone as it's depressing to watch, it's slow, although not too slow for me to find boring, and some of disturbing stuff can be a bit too much for some viewers, but for the people who don't mind this type of film, Snowtown is quite something to watch, and I'm curious to see more of the director's work.
January 6, 2017
Another film thats been in my Netflix queue for literally 5 years and I just go to it. There's probably a reason it was there that long because quite frankly I did not like this one at all. Jamie Vlassakis (Lucas Pittaway) and his brothers get sexually abused while their mother is away. This destroys the young boys lives until a man named John (Daniel Henshall) begins seeing their mother and runs Troy (Anthony Groves) the man who sexually assaulted the boys out of the neighborhood. John is a homophobic man with very violent tendencies, but Jamie not having a father figure latches onto John's believes and slowly begins turning into a much different person than he ever thought he would be. One by one the neighborhood starts cleaning up, but people start to go missing. The film just wasn't for me. The depictions of violence and rape in it were very unsettling for me and I just didn't care much for the characters. I didn't like how it feels almost incomplete on top of that. This won't be for a majority of viewers. It's well acted, but the plot itself was just something i didn't care for.
December 9, 2016
Brutal, so I would not recommend this to a weak stomach person.
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
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....
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