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Cannes 2011: Snowtown reaction
Snowtown is an Australian thriller based on real life serial killer John Bunting, who murdered 11 people in South Australia between 1992 and 1999.
Taking the point of view of teenage accomplice Jamie Vlassakis, the film charts the effect Bunting has on Jamie’s world, and his eventual decline into depravity and murder.
Darkly shot with a subdued colour palette, the film is disquieting from the start, not least becasue of the ominous score.
Building into an unsettling portrait of suburban and human decay, the integration and assimilation of Jamie into John’s depraved mindset is punctuated by moments of extreme, visceral violence.
Filmed on location in South Australia, the cast is populated with locals, many of whom had never acted before (including Lucas Pittaway, playing Jamie, who was discovered in a local shopping mall), giving the film a rooted, authentic feel.
Though Pittaway’s Jamie is a performance worthy of an accomplished thesp, it is Daniel Henshall’s chilling portrayal of twisted killer John Bunting that takes the plaudits.
Charismatic and charming, Henshall also has a menacing stare worthy of Hannibal Lecter - one minute accompanying a jovial smile, the next an insane gaze that gives away the psychopath lurking underneath.
As the house lights came up to near-unanimous applause, it was clear that the shocking subject matter had divided opinion - what started as a full house at the beginning of the screening had been reduced by nearly a third - many choosing to walk out rather than endure some of the film’s more grotesque scenes.
This is not a film for the weak of stomach.
Nor it is a film that seeks to glorify the subject matter - instead it is an intelligent, layered dissection of human psychology, charting the downfall of an emotionally disturbed young man at the instruction of a father figure he had desperately needed.
In all, a disturbing account of a dark chapter in recent Australian history, and an unforgettable debut from a director with a unique visual style, and the assured touch of a veteran.

Cannes 2011: Snowtown reaction

Snowtown is an Australian thriller based on real life serial killer John Bunting, who murdered 11 people in South Australia between 1992 and 1999.

Taking the point of view of teenage accomplice Jamie Vlassakis, the film charts the effect Bunting has on Jamie’s world, and his eventual decline into depravity and murder.

Darkly shot with a subdued colour palette, the film is disquieting from the start, not least becasue of the ominous score.

Building into an unsettling portrait of suburban and human decay, the integration and assimilation of Jamie into John’s depraved mindset is punctuated by moments of extreme, visceral violence.

Filmed on location in South Australia, the cast is populated with locals, many of whom had never acted before (including Lucas Pittaway, playing Jamie, who was discovered in a local shopping mall), giving the film a rooted, authentic feel.

Though Pittaway’s Jamie is a performance worthy of an accomplished thesp, it is Daniel Henshall’s chilling portrayal of twisted killer John Bunting that takes the plaudits.

Charismatic and charming, Henshall also has a menacing stare worthy of Hannibal Lecter - one minute accompanying a jovial smile, the next an insane gaze that gives away the psychopath lurking underneath.

As the house lights came up to near-unanimous applause, it was clear that the shocking subject matter had divided opinion - what started as a full house at the beginning of the screening had been reduced by nearly a third - many choosing to walk out rather than endure some of the film’s more grotesque scenes.

This is not a film for the weak of stomach.

Nor it is a film that seeks to glorify the subject matter - instead it is an intelligent, layered dissection of human psychology, charting the downfall of an emotionally disturbed young man at the instruction of a father figure he had desperately needed.

In all, a disturbing account of a dark chapter in recent Australian history, and an unforgettable debut from a director with a unique visual style, and the assured touch of a veteran.

Snowtown (2011) Official Trailer

Based on the true story of serial killer John Bunting, who along with coerced associates, murdered 12 people in South Australia between 1992 and 1999.

Known as the ‘Bodies in the Barrels’ murders, Bunting and his associates killed victims at various locations over South Australia, storing them in barrels filled with hydrochloric acid.

In early 1999, Bunting moved the barrels to a disused bank vault in Snowtown, a small quiet town 145km outside Adelaide. 

Attracting the attention of police, the vault was raided, and shortly after the horrific discovery of 8 bodies in 6 barrels in Snowtown became one of Australia’s worst serial murder cases in history.

Taking the point of view of young, impressionable Bunting associate Jamie Vlassakis, who later turned star witness for the prosecution, the film focuses on several of the murders, as Bunting charms and intimidates his way into the lives of future associates, and future victims.

- This looks amazing! Interviewing the director on Tuesday! Dan :)

Leonardo DiCaprio becomes Devil In The White City
Leonardo DiCaprio is taking a trip through time to the late 1800s to play a serial killer in The Devil In The White City. Based  on the non-fiction novel of the same name, the story follows architect  Daniel H. Burnham and Dr H. H. Holmes, the latter of whom is a serial  killer merely posing as a doctor. Holmes used the Chicago World’s  Fair, built by Burnham, in 1893 to dice up his victims in the Murder  Castle attraction. Considered one of America’s first serial killers,  it’s thought that Holmes killed between 20 and 200 people.

Leonardo DiCaprio becomes Devil In The White City

Leonardo DiCaprio is taking a trip through time to the late 1800s to play a serial killer in The Devil In The White City. Based on the non-fiction novel of the same name, the story follows architect Daniel H. Burnham and Dr H. H. Holmes, the latter of whom is a serial killer merely posing as a doctor. Holmes used the Chicago World’s Fair, built by Burnham, in 1893 to dice up his victims in the Murder Castle attraction. Considered one of America’s first serial killers, it’s thought that Holmes killed between 20 and 200 people.