The Snowtown Murders | Chicago Reader

The Snowtown Murders

Your appreciation of this Australian horror movie—based on a series of gruesome murders that took place in an Adelaide suburb in the 1990s--will depend on whether you think its artistry justifies its unrelenting ugliness. It's quite accomplished in a formal sense, engendering a trancelike fascination mainly through atmosphere (though it doesn’t shy away from gore either). First-time director Justin Kurzel gets effective, natural performances from professional and nonprofessional actors alike; the movie is nauseating partly because it feels so intimate. Kurzel and screenwriter Shaun Grant want to understand their characters, blue-collar vigilantes whose group is taken over by a charismatic psychopath, but that doesn't make the story any easier to watch.



  • Justin Kurzel


  • Daniel Henshall
  • Lucas Pittaway
  • Craig Coyne
  • Richard Green
  • David Walker
  • Bob Adriaens
  • Louise Harris
  • Frank Cwiertniak
  • Anthony Groves
  • Brendan Rock
  • Bryan Sellars
  • Keiran Schwerdt


  • Sarah Shaw
  • Anna McLeish

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