Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

Snowtown – 2011


When travelling to Australia, don’t be fooled by certain enticing names of various locations. Names such as Sunshine, Christmas Island and Snowtown may not turn out exactly how you’re hoping, so, steer clear.

Keeping up with the trend of gory, disturbing and brutal horror features set in rural Australia comes 2011’s “Snowtown” (or “The Snowtown Murders”), a shockingly merciless tale based on true events that focuses on a broken family, but more specially, Jamie Vlassakis (Lucas Pittaway), a vulnerable teenager who is subject to a horrific childhood and multiple rapes. Jamie is a shy and silent boy who reaches an age where he is subject to influences from those around him more than ever before. These influential figures in his life help mould the man that Jamie will eventually grow into. Unfortunately, the influence isn’t favourable…


Jamie begins to get to know Gavin (Bob Adriaens), a father figure that has taken the place of Jamie’s rapist father. Gavin has a stern, regimented attitude towards rapists and perverts, so much so that he takes it upon himself to track down and kill those offenders. It leads the story into a moral dilemma regarding who the real antagonist of the film is. As Gavin and Jamie become closer and closer, the ideas, motifs and attitudes he feeds into Jamie’s mind get increasingly sadistic and twisted, leading to some heavily disturbing scenes.

For such a shockingly confronting film, “Snowtown” is very well shot. The cinematic techniques utilised throughout the film really convey a lot of mood and emotion, all the while being aesthetically pleasing. The de-saturated colour pallet, the eery music and the implied grotesqueness at times adds so much more than out and out barbarity could.


“Snowtown” isn’t a film that most would call their ‘favourite’, however it is really well put together and cleverly crafted which has to count for something. Raw emotion and a gritty style all assist in conveying the sheer callous nature of the characters and the horrendous era in Australian history. This is definitely not one for the faint of heart.



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