Ben Young directs Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings and Stephen Curry in this based on a true story chiller about an Australian couple who kidnap, rape and kill schoolgirls in their suburban home.
Opens with a fantastic shot: our ordinary looking predators spying on a playground netball game, the shadow of a hand caressing and oppressing the teen’s unsuspecting body. Hounds of Love is full of neat visual moments but you realise after an onslaught of showy overused tics like slow-mo or cross cutting that there’s not much else to it. Young is so fascinated in making his warped pair of nasties’ incongruous existence among the everyday look artful that he neglects plotting and set pieces. You could say this is a child of Cinema Du Look first, a character study second and an entertainment distant third. As a thriller it is only fascinated by taking a leering look at the distress, paranoia and self pity of its killers and current victim. The sexual violence is implied rather than shown, you are never sure whether the wife (a standout Emma Booth) was once tied to that bed and is equally terrified of being disposed of… or is the worst of the monsters, jealously indulging her violent little man’s perversions? We take a long, hard, often painterly look at evil but for very few traditional thrills.
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