- By Julian Carrington
- March 2, 2012 6:30 PM
- 0 Comments
Despite taking a short film called “Blue Tongue” to Cannes Critic’s Week in 2005, Australian director Justin Kurzel isn’t a member of the Aussie collective Blue Tongue Films, which includes “Animal Kingdom” writer/director David Michôd and star Joel Edgerton (also of acclaimed MMA drama “Warrior”). Comparisons will be inevitable, however, in that like “Animal Kingdom,” Kurzel’s debut feature is an uncommonly accomplished crime drama about a naive teen corrupted by the poisonous, sociopathic tutelage of a deranged father figure. The two films also share cinematographer Adam Arkapaw who spent time behind the camera for both productions.
If there’s a key difference, though, between Kurzel’s film, “The Snowtown Murders,” and Michôd’s "Animal Kingdom," it’s that the former is based on a horrific true story. Specifically, “Snowtown” dramatizes the events of Australia’s notorious Snowtown murders (also called the “Bodies in Barrels murders”), perpetrated by John Justin Bunting and three accomplices, one of whom was teenager James Vlassakis. "Snowtown" is a grim, hard-to-watch chronicle of how Vlassakis was lured into Bunting's world, eventually participating in his brutal, vicious murders.