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Hounds of Love - Movie Review

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Hounds of Love - Movie Review

5 stars

Horrifying.  Absolutely fucking horrifying.  And bloody, damn brilliant, too.  If the title, Hounds of Love, makes you think you are in for a romantic comedy then stop.   Breathe deeply.  This tale of kidnapping and torture is the furthest thing from a rom-com and, since there is a ragged and torn love story at the center of it, if it is someone’s idea of a romance then, fuck, that’s one hell of a sick joke. 

Written and directed by Ben Young, this story of a couple in Perth, Australia who kidnap, torture, and kill school age teens and children for sexual pleasure pummels its audience with wave upon wave of shock until settling into a prolonged character study.  It’s brutal, man, and yet there’s an art at play which means you can never look away from the screen.  It’s a bizarre spell in which it weaves.

Full of tense close-ups, slow motion sequences, and an opening that will make your skin crawl with its perversions, Hounds of Love works especially well due to the strength of the lens and the commanding performances.   And yet its horror is a quiet one.  It builds and builds, sure, but its release is never in the form of a scream.  Nah, this is pissing your pants terror.  And it feels oh so very real that it might just be happening down the street from where you live. 

I mean, I certainly hope not.  But its vibe – set during Christmas in 1987 – is kept in constant motion thanks to the combined talents of Emma Booth and Stephen Curry as Evelyn and John White, the deadly duo who target one teen after another, burying their bodies in the woods.  Their latest victim, Vicki Maloney (Ashleigh Cummings), is already wounded.  Her parents, Maggie (Susie Porter) and Trevor (Damian De Montemas) are separating and she’s caught in the middle of the drama.  Defying their orders seems like a good idea…until it lands her right in the middle of Evelyn and John’s tract house. 

But this is a film about survivors.  Even if Joy Division gets the biggest applause, this is a movie that saves its bloody dénouement for those brave enough to stick through all the murder and madness.  Evelyn is a woman on the edge and her story is a blurry mess of children removed from the home, memories of better times, and the stretch marks to prove it.  Cuts have been made.  Wounds won’t heal.  And John, the ringleader, is a ticking time bomb, smashing his fist through walls and flaunting his boners for all to see – especially their latest victim.

This is an unflinching tale that pushes back against all the control freaks out there.  With a solid canvas of artfully painted track shots thanks to cinematographer Michael McDermott, the film offers an unyielding amount of tension and scares.  The soundtrack – a pulsating myriad of moody synths – from composer Dan Luscombe works double to keep you under its trance-like spell.  There’s little room to come up for air. 

With Hounds of Love, your response to a domestic disturbance becomes a high priority.

Hounds of Love - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
108 mins
: Ben Young
Ben Young
Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, Stephen Curry
: Crime | Drama
Have you seen this girl?
Memorable Movie Quote: "I'll tell you what. How about... you and I... go in there right now and show her who's running the show? Come on, Evie."
Theatrical Distributor:
Gunpowder & Sky
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 12, 2017
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors she quickly realises she must drive a wedge between them if she is to survive.

No details available.

Hounds of Love - Movie Review

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